Original Article


, Volume 235, Issue 6, pp 1197-1207

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

How do nitrogen and phosphorus deficiencies affect strigolactone production and exudation?

  • Kaori YoneyamaAffiliated withWeed Science Center, Utsunomiya University
  • , Xiaonan XieAffiliated withWeed Science Center, Utsunomiya University
  • , Hyun Il KimAffiliated withWeed Science Center, Utsunomiya University
  • , Takaya KisugiAffiliated withWeed Science Center, Utsunomiya University
  • , Takahito NomuraAffiliated withWeed Science Center, Utsunomiya University
  • , Hitoshi SekimotoAffiliated withFaculty of Agriculture, Utsunomiya University
  • , Takao YokotaAffiliated withDepartment of Biosciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Teikyo University
  • , Koichi YoneyamaAffiliated withWeed Science Center, Utsunomiya University Email author 


Plants exude strigolactones (SLs) to attract symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the rhizosphere. Previous studies have demonstrated that phosphorus (P) deficiency, but not nitrogen (N) deficiency, significantly promotes SL exudation in red clover, while in sorghum not only P deficiency but also N deficiency enhances SL exudation. There are differences between plant species in SL exudation under P- and N-deficient conditions, which may possibly be related to differences between legumes and non-legumes. To investigate this possibility in detail, the effects of N and P deficiencies on SL exudation were examined in Fabaceae (alfalfa and Chinese milk vetch), Asteraceae (marigold and lettuce), Solanaceae (tomato), and Poaceae (wheat) plants. In alfalfa as expected, and unexpectedly in tomato, only P deficiency promoted SL exudation. In contrast, in Chinese milk vetch, a leguminous plant, and in the other non-leguminous plants examined, N deficiency as well as P deficiency enhanced SL exudation. Distinct reductions in shoot P levels were observed in plants grown under N deficiency, except for tomato, in which shoot P level was increased by N starvation, suggesting that the P status of the shoot regulates SL exudation. There seems to be a correlation between shoot P levels and SL exudation across the species/families investigated.


Nitrogen deficiency Phosphorus deficiency Shoot phosphorus status Strigolactone