Secretions and Exudates in Biological Systems

Volume 12 of the series Signaling and Communication in Plants pp 49-73


Strigolactones in Root Exudates as a Signal in Symbiotic and Parasitic Interactions

  • Hinanit KoltaiAffiliated withInstitute of Plant Sciences, ARO, Volcani Center Email author 
  • , Radoslava MatusovaAffiliated withInstitute of Plant Genetics and Biotechnology, Slovak Academy of Sciences
  • , Yoram KapulnikAffiliated withInstitute of Plant Sciences, ARO, Volcani Center

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Plants produce numerous secondary metabolites, many of which have a role in their development. The presence of such compounds in the rhizosphere led other organisms in the course of evolution to recognize these root exudates as signals for the presence of a host plant. Strigolactones (SLs) were recently identified as a new plant hormone. However, they were first identified, more than 40 years ago, as germination stimulants of the parasitic plants Striga and Orobanche, and later as stimulants of hyphal branching of the symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. In this chapter, we focus on SLs in root exudates as a signal in these parasitic and symbiotic interactions. The possible evolution of the biological role(s) of SLs, their essentialness to, and their involvement in determining host recognition by parasitic plants and symbiotic fungi will be discussed.