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BMC Biol. 2015 Dec 21;13:108. doi: 10.1186/s12915-015-0219-0.

What are karrikins and how were they 'discovered' by plants?

Author information

1
School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, 6009, Australia.
2
Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University, Bentley, Perth, Western Australia, 6102, Australia.
3
School of Plant Biology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, 6009, Australia.
4
School of Biological Sciences, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, 7001, Australia. Steven.smith@utas.edu.au.
5
Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China. Steven.smith@utas.edu.au.

Abstract

Karrikins are a family of compounds produced by wildfires that can stimulate the germination of dormant seeds of plants from numerous families. Seed plants could have 'discovered' karrikins during fire-prone times in the Cretaceous period when flowering plants were evolving rapidly. Recent research suggests that karrikins mimic an unidentified endogenous compound that has roles in seed germination and early plant development. The endogenous signalling compound is presumably not only similar to karrikins, but also to the related strigolactone hormones.

PMID:
26689715
PMCID:
PMC4687367
DOI:
10.1186/s12915-015-0219-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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