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Strigolactones, From Plants To Human Health: Achievements And Challenges

Valentina Dell’Oste, Francesca Spyrakis, Cristina Prandi

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Strigolactones (SLs) are a class of sesquiterpenoid plant hormones that play a role in the response of plants to various biotic and abiotic stresses. When released into the rhizosphere, they are perceived by both beneficial symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi and parasitic plants. Due to their multiple roles, SLs are potentially interesting agricultural targets. Indeed, the use of SLs as agrochemicals can favor sustainable agriculture via multiple mechanisms, including shaping root architecture, promoting ideal branching, stimulating nutrient assimilation, controlling parasitic weeds, mitigating drought and enhancing mycorrhization. Moreover, over the last few years, a number of studies have shed light onto the effects exerted by SLs on human cells and on their possible applications in medicine. For example, SLs have been demonstrated to play a key role in the control of pathways related to apoptosis and inflammation. The elucidation of the molecular mechanisms behind their action has inspired further investigations into their effects on human cells and their possible uses as anti-cancer and antimicrobial agents.