Evolutionary study of CEITEC MU researchers identifies the functional diversification of two related plant hormones; Strigolactones and Karrikins

6. June 2018

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Strigolactones are a recent addition to the class of plant hormones. Apart from their hormonal property, they also act as seed germination stimulants of parasitic weeds from the Orobanchaceae family. Interestingly, another plant hormone called karrikin that regulates an entirely different set of developmental events found to share part of the signalling components of strigolactones, especially SMXL gene family of transcription repressors. Evolutionary study conducted by CEITEC MU researchers revealed gradual co-evolution of SMXL members provided functional specificity to these two plant hormones.  The study also identified evolutionarily conserved motifs that might act as the determinants of strigolactone-karrikin signalling specificity. This study will assist researchers in this field to separate the effects of these two hormones at the molecular level. This study recently published in Journal of Experimental Botany (doi: 10.1093/jxb/ery097)

This study was conducted in Dr. Tomasz Nodzyński’s research group under the supervision of Dr. Sibu Simon. CEITEC PhD school student Mr. Taraka Ramji Moturu performed major part of the work. Dr. Simon is a SoMoPro fellow funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action and it is co-financed by the South Moravian Region under grant agreement No. 665860. Professor Jiří Friml from IST Austria and Radka Svobodová Vařeková from NCBR, MU also collaorated on this work.