Biosynthesis, regulation and biological role of strigolactones in rice

C.S. De Moura Luis Cardoso

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


In her thesis Catarina Cardoso studied strigolactone biosynthesis in rice. Strigolactones are multifunctional compounds produced by plants. They are plant hormones that regulate plant architecture, but in addition plants release strigolactones into the soil to communicate and initiate beneficial symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Parasitic plants of the genera Striga, Orobanche and Phelipanche take advantage of this communication to also recognize their hosts and infest them. These parasites infect crops and cause significant economic losses in Mediterranean regions and especially in Sub Saharan Africa where they put food security at risk. Catarina found there is large variation in strigolactone biosynthesis between the two major rice groups (indica and japonica) and located the genes responsible for this. She also showed that the different strigolactones produced by rice have a differential impact on AM fungi and seeds of parasitic plants. These findings suggest that it is possible to select crop varieties that can interact with AM fungi, without inducing parasitism. The knowledge generated in this study can contribute to the urgent need to control the worldwide parasitic weed problems. At the same time strigolactones also control plant development and the results of this study may resuylt in tools to develop better yielding and sustainable crops.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Bouwmeester, Harro, Promotor
  • Ruyter-Spira, Carolien, Co-promotor
Award date10 Oct 2014
Place of PublicationWageningen
Print ISBNs9789462570917
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • oryza sativa
  • rice
  • striga
  • parasitic plants
  • rhizosphere
  • lactones
  • gigaspora rosea
  • biosynthesis


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