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Plant Cell Physiol. 2012 Nov;53(11):1843-53. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcs142. Epub 2012 Oct 10.

Recent advances in strigolactone research: chemical and biological aspects.

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Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University, Katahira 2-1-1, Aoba-ku, Sendai, 980-8577 Japan.


Strigolactones (SLs) are a group of terpenoid lactones that were discovered in the 1960s. They were initially characterized as allelochemicals secreted from roots to the rhizosphere, and have functions in parasitic and symbiotic interactions with root parasitic plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, respectively. In 2008, SLs were shown to act as endogenous hormones that regulate shoot branching. The discovery of a hormonal function for SLs has provided a link between genetically studied shoot branching mutants and chemically characterized SLs in earlier studies. This has offered new strategies and experimental tools to address a number of intriguing questions as to the biological function and molecular action of SLs. In this review, we will provide an overview of recent topics on SLs, and highlight new discoveries regarding its biosynthetic pathway and multiple hormonal roles in plant development and adaptive responses.

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