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Strigolactones In The Rhizosphere: Friend Or Foe?

Carolien De Cuyper, Sofie Goormachtig

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Strigolactones are well-known endogenous plant hormones that play a major role in planta by influencing different physiological processes. Moreover, ex planta, strigolactones are important signaling molecules in root exudates and function as host detection cues to launch mutualistic interactions with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the rhizosphere. However, parasitic plants belonging to the Orobanchaceae family hijacked this communication system to stimulate their seed germination when in close proximity to the roots of a suitable host. As a result, the secretion of strigolactones by the plant can have both favorable and detrimental outcomes. Here, we discuss these dual positive and negative effects of strigolactones and we provide a detailed overview on the role of these molecules in the complex dialogs between plants and different organisms in the rhizosphere.