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Characterization Of Growth And Development Of Sorghum Genotypes With Differential Susceptibility ToStriga Hermonthica

Dorota Kawa, Tamera Taylor, Benjamin Thiombiano, Zayan Musa, Hannah E. Vahldick, Aimee Walmsley, Alexander Bucksch, Harro Bouwmeester, Siobhan M. Brady

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AbstractVariation in strigolactone composition in sorghum root exudates underlies its resistance to the parasitic weed,Striga hermonthica. Root exudates of the Striga susceptible variety Shanqui Red (SQR) contain primarily 5-deoxystrigol, which has a high efficiency of inducing Striga germination. SRN39 roots primarily exude orobanchol, leading to reduced Striga germination and making this variety resistant to Striga. This structural diversity in exuded strigolactones is determined by the polymorphism in theLGS1(LOW GERMINATION STIMULANT 1) locus. Yet, the effects of thelgs1mutation as well as the consequences of the vast genetic diversity between SQR and SRN39 have not been addressed in terms of growth and development. Here, we demonstrate additional consequences ofLGS1loss-of-function by phenotypic and molecular characterization. A suite of genes related to metabolism was differentially expressed between SQR and SRN39. Increased levels of gibberellin precursors in SRN39 were accompanied with its slower growth rate and developmental delay and we observed an overall increased SRN39 biomass. The slow-down in growth and differences in transcriptome profiles of SRN39 were strongly associated with plant age. Additionally, analyses of multipleLGS1loss-of-function genotypes indicated that strigolactone stereochemistry influences root system architecture. In summary, we demonstrate that the consequences of thelgs1mutation reach further than the changes in strigolactone profile in the root exudate and translate into alterations in growth and development.HighlightSRN39 and Shanqui Red are models for sorghum genotypes that are resistant and susceptible, respectively, toStriga hermonthica. Additional differences in plant growth, development, and hormone abundance should be considered when assessing Striga tolerance.