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Plant Cell Environ. 2017 Sep;40(9):1691-1703. doi: 10.1111/pce.12996. Epub 2017 Jul 5.

Strigolactones, karrikins and beyond.

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Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Ghent University, 9052, Ghent, Belgium.
Center for Plant Systems Biology, VIB, 9052, Ghent, Belgium.
Department of Biochemistry, Ghent University, 9000, Ghent, Belgium.
Medical Biotechnology Center, VIB, 9000, Ghent, Belgium.


The plant hormones strigolactones are synthesized from carotenoids and signal via the α/β hydrolase DWARF 14 (D14) and the F-box protein MORE AXILLARY GROWTH 2 (MAX2). Karrikins, molecules produced upon fire, share MAX2 for signalling, but depend on the D14 paralog KARRIKIN INSENSITIVE 2 (KAI2) for perception with strong evidence that the MAX2-KAI2 protein complex might also recognize so far unknown plant-made karrikin-like molecules. Thus, the phenotypes of the max2 mutants are the complex consequence of a loss of both D14-dependent and KAI2-dependent signalling, hence, the reason why some biological roles, attributed to strigolactones based on max2 phenotypes, could never be observed in d14 or in the strigolactone-deficient max3 and max4 mutants. Moreover, the broadly used synthetic strigolactone analog rac-GR24 has been shown to mimic strigolactone as well as karrikin(-like) signals, providing an extra level of complexity in the distinction of the unique and common roles of both molecules in plant biology. Here, a critical overview is provided of the diverse biological processes regulated by strigolactones and/or karrikins. These two growth regulators are considered beyond their boundaries, and the importance of the yet unknown karrikin-like molecules is discussed as well.


MAX2; hormone signalling; karrikins; strigolactones

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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