PARASITIC PLANTS. Probing strigolactone receptors in Striga hermonthica with fluorescence

Tsuchiya Y, Yoshimura M, Sato Y, Kuwata K, Toh S, Holbrook-Smith D, Zhang H, McCourt P, Itami K, Kinoshita T, Hagihara S

Science 2015 Aug;349(6250):864-8

PMID: 26293962

Abstract

Elucidating the signaling mechanism of strigolactones has been the key to controlling the devastating problem caused by the parasitic plant Striga hermonthica. To overcome the genetic intractability that has previously interfered with identification of the strigolactone receptor, we developed a fluorescence turn-on probe, Yoshimulactone Green (YLG), which activates strigolactone signaling and illuminates signal perception by the strigolactone receptors. Here we describe how strigolactones bind to and act via ShHTLs, the diverged family of α/β hydrolase-fold proteins in Striga. Live imaging using YLGs revealed that a dynamic wavelike propagation of strigolactone perception wakes up Striga seeds. We conclude that ShHTLs function as the strigolactone receptors mediating seed germination in Striga. Our findings enable access to strigolactone receptors and observation of the regulatory dynamics for strigolactone signal transduction in Striga.

Structure-function analysis identifies highly sensitive strigolactone receptors in Striga

Toh S, Holbrook-Smith D, Stogios PJ, Onopriyenko O, Lumba S, Tsuchiya Y, Savchenko A, McCourt P

Science 2015 Oct;350(6257):203-7

PMID: 26450211

Abstract

Strigolactones are naturally occurring signaling molecules that affect plant development, fungi-plant interactions, and parasitic plant infestations. We characterized the function of 11 strigolactone receptors from the parasitic plant Striga hermonthica using chemical and structural biology. We found a clade of polyspecific receptors, including one that is sensitive to picomolar concentrations of strigolactone. A crystal structure of a highly sensitive strigolactone receptor from Striga revealed a larger binding pocket than that of the Arabidopsis receptor, which could explain the increased range of strigolactone sensitivity. Thus, the sensitivity of Striga to strigolactones from host plants is driven by receptor sensitivity. By expressing strigolactone receptors in Arabidopsis, we developed a bioassay that can be used to identify chemicals and crops with altered strigolactone levels.

50 years of Arabidopsis research: highlights and future directions

Provart NJ, Alonso J, Assmann SM, Bergmann D, Brady SM, Brkljacic J, Browse J, Chapple C, Colot V, Cutler S, Dangl J, Ehrhardt D, Friesner JD, Frommer WB, Grotewold E, Meyerowitz E, Nemhauser J, Nordborg M, Pikaard C, Shanklin J, Somerville C, Stitt M, Torii KU, Waese J, Wagner D, McCourt P

New Phytol. 2015 Oct;

PMID: 26465351

Abstract

I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. XII. XIII. Natural variation and genome-wide association studies XIV. XV. XVI. XVII. References SUMMARY: The year 2014 marked the 25(th) International Conference on Arabidopsis Research. In the 50 yr since the first International Conference on Arabidopsis Research, held in 1965 in Göttingen, Germany, > 54 000 papers that mention Arabidopsis thaliana in the title, abstract or keywords have been published. We present herein a citational network analysis of these papers, and touch on some of the important discoveries in plant biology that have been made in this powerful model system, and highlight how these discoveries have then had an impact in crop species. We also look to the future, highlighting some outstanding questions that can be readily addressed in Arabidopsis. Topics that are discussed include Arabidopsis reverse genetic resources, stock centers, databases and online tools, cell biology, development, hormones, plant immunity, signaling in response to abiotic stress, transporters, biosynthesis of cells walls and macromolecules such as starch and lipids, epigenetics and epigenomics, genome-wide association studies and natural variation, gene regulatory networks, modeling and systems biology, and synthetic biology.