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Resorcinol-Type Strigolactone Mimics as Potent Germinators of the Parasitic Plants Striga hermonthica and Phelipanche ramosa

Dvorakova, Marcela, Hylova, Adela, Soudek, Petr, Retzer, Katarzyna, Spichal, Lukas, Vanek, Tomas
Journal of natural products 2018 v.81 no.11 pp. 2321-2328
Arabidopsis, Orobanche ramosa, Striga hermonthica, death, developing countries, food availability, median effective concentration, metabolites, pH, parasitic plants, seed germination, strigolactones, weeds
Strigolactones are a particular class of plant metabolites with diverse biological functions starting from the stimulation of parasitic seed germination to phytohormonal activity. The expansion of parasitic weeds in the fields of developing countries is threatening the food supply and calls for simple procedures to combat these weeds. Strigolactone analogues represent a promising approach for such control through suicidal germination, i.e., parasitic seed germination without the presence of the host causing parasite death. In the present work, the synthesis of resorcinol-type strigolactone mimics related to debranones is reported. These compounds were highly stable even at alkaline pH levels and able to induce seed germination of parasitic plants Striga hermonthica and Phelipanche ramosa at low concentrations, EC₅₀ ≈ 2 × 10–⁷ M (Striga) and EC₅₀ ≈ 2 × 10–⁹ M (Phelipanche). On the other hand, the mimics had no significant effect on root architecture of Arabidopsis plants, suggesting a selective activity for parasitic seed germination, making them a primary target as suicidal germinators.