Periodic Reporting for period 4 - CHEMCOMRHIZO (Chemical communication in the rhizosphere of plants)
Reporting period: 2019-10-01 to 2021-11-30
The most important results and their dissemination
- We have further elucidated the structural diversity in the strigolactones in maize, have elucidated the entire strigolactone biosynthetic pathway of maize and showed that natural variation in the strigolactone blend in maize correlates with differences in Striga resistance. This will be published in a paper we will submit to Science and was disseminated to a scientific audience in seminars for the GLS plant science groups at UVA as well our institute, SILS
- We have identified the recruitment of two additional cytochrome P450 families that facilitate the biosynthesis of the strigolactone structural diversity. This shows that the evolution of different strigolactone structures is indeed under selective pressure. The work was disseminated in scientific meetings and will be published in in scientific papers
- We developed a method to analyse the production of the nematode hatching stimulant, solanoeclepin A, using LC-MS/MS in the exudate of a single tomato and potato plant (published in Planta); using this method we demonstrated that solanoeclepin A production is regulated by several environmental conditions; it will form the basis for high-impact follow up work that will be disseminated to the scientific community and published.
- We have made it likely that the classical dauer pathway is involved in the release from hatching upon perception of the hatching stimulant, solanoeclepin A. This work is partially published as review and will be submitted for publication soon. It also forms the basis for follow-up work to try to identify the solanoeclepin receptor which could have important practical consequences
- The combination of Striga strigolactone receptors and triple-quad LC-MS/MS analysis is a useful strategy to unravel receptor ligand specificity and will be published
- We developed a transient silencing method, Virus Induced Gene Silencing, that effectively silences gene expression in the roots of tomato, and used that method to alter the root exudate composition, which in return resulted in changes in the rhizosphere microbioom; we will publish this in several scientific papers and disseminate it in scientific meetings
- The development of rhizosphere metabolomics and its combination with other phenotyping methods, including metabarcoding of the microbial community, allowed us to pinpoint relationships between plant rhizosphere signalling molecules, including strigolactones and solanoeclepin A, and microbe recruitment. These ideas were disseminated at scientific meetings and we have several papers in prep on this of which one is virtually accepted.