Strigolactones (SLs) are rhizosphere signalling molecules exuded by plants that induce seed germination of root parasitic weeds and hyphal branching of arbuscular mycorrhiza. They are also phytohormones regulating plant architecture. MORE AXILLARY GROWTH 1 (MAX1) and its homologs encode cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes that catalyse the conversion of the strigolactone precursor carlactone to canonical strigolactones in rice (Oryza sativa), and to an SL-like compound in Arabidopsis. Here, we characterized the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) MAX1 homolog, SlMAX1. The targeting induced local lesions in genomes method was used to obtain Slmax1 mutants that exhibit strongly reduced production of orobanchol, solanacol and didehydro-orobanchol (DDH) isomers. This results in a severe strigolactone mutant phenotype in vegetative and reproductive development. Transient expression of SlMAX1 – together with SlD27, SlCCD7 and SlCCD8 – in Nicotiana benthamiana showed that SlMAX1 catalyses the formation of carlactonoic acid from carlactone. Plant feeding assays showed that carlactone, but not 4-deoxy-orobanchol, is the precursor of orobanchol, which in turn is the precursor of solanacol and two of the three DDH isomers. Inhibitor studies suggest that a 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase is involved in orobanchol biosynthesis from carlactone and that the formation of solanacol and DDH isomers from orobanchol is catalysed by CYPs.
- cytochrome P450 (CYP)
- didehydro-orobanchol isomers
- MORE AXILLARY GROWTH 1 (MAX1)
- tomato strigolactones