Seed germination of Striga spp. (witchweeds), one of the world’s most destructive parasitic
weeds, cannot be induced by light but is specifically induced by strigolactones. It is not known
whether Striga uses the same components for strigolactone signaling as host plants, whether
it has endogenous strigolactone biosynthesis and whether there is post-germination strigolactone
signaling in Striga.
Strigolactones could not be detected in in vitro grown Striga, while for host-grown Striga,
the strigolactone profile is dominated by a subset of the strigolactones present in the host.
Branching of in vitro grown Striga is affected by strigolactone biosynthesis inhibitors.
ShMAX2, the Striga ortholog of Arabidopsis MORE AXILLARY BRANCHING 2 (AtMAX2) –
which mediates strigolactone signaling – complements several of the Arabidopsis max2-1
phenotypes, including the root and shoot phenotype, the High Irradiance Response and the
response to strigolactones. Seed germination of max2-1 complemented with ShMAX2
showed no complementation of the Very Low Fluence Response phenotype of max2-1.
Results provide indirect evidence for ShMAX2 functions in Striga. A putative role of
ShMAX2 in strigolactone-dependent seed germination of Striga is discussed.
- arabidopsis seed-germination
- box protein max2
- plant hormone