Strigolactones are a new class of plant hormones emerging as important signals in the control of plant architecture. In addition, they are key elements in plant communication with several rhizosphere organisms. Strigolactones are exuded into the soil, where they act as host detection signals for arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, but also as germination stimulants for root parasitic plant seeds. Under phosphate limiting conditions, plants up-regulate the secretion of strigolactones into the rhizosphere to promote the formation of AM symbiosis. Using tomato as a model plant, we have recently shown that AM symbiosis induces changes in transcriptional and hormonal profiles. Using the same model system, here we analytically demonstrate, using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry, that strigolactone production is also significantly reduced upon AM symbiosis. Considering the dual role of the strigolactones in the rhizosphere as signals for AM fungi and parasitic plants, we discuss the potential implications of these changes in the plant interaction with both organisms.
- parasitic plants