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Trends Plant Sci. 2007 May;12(5):224-30. Epub 2007 Apr 9.

Rhizosphere communication of plants, parasitic plants and AM fungi.

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  • 1Laboratory for Plant Physiology, Wageningen University, Arboretumlaan 4, 6703 BD Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Plants use an array of secondary metabolites to defend themselves against harmful organisms and to attract others that are beneficial. However, the attraction of beneficial organisms could also lead to abuse by malevolent organisms. An exciting example of such abuse is the relationship between plants, beneficial mutualistic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and harmful parasitic plants. Signalling molecules called strigolactones, which are secreted by plant roots in low concentrations, induce the growth of both obligate biotrophs. Here, we review the importance of strigolactones for these two interactions and discuss possible developments that should further clarify the role of these signalling molecules in rhizosphere processes.

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