Small molecule approach to the devastation caused by a parasitic plant Striga hermonthica

Professor Yuichiro Tsuchiya
Nagoya University
Friday, April 5, 2019 - 11:00am
Ramsay Wright Building, Room 432
Departmental Seminar
Striga hermonthica (Striga) parasitizes crops widely across various parts of sub-Saharan Africa, causing loss in crop yields that result in economic pressure on millions of smallholder farmers and lead to annual losses of billions of dollars. As Striga seeds require host-generated strigolactones (SLs) to germinate, understanding the mechanism of SL signaling could lead the development of chemical agent for controling these noxious weeds. We have been approaching to the problem with small moelcule probes including a fluorotgenic probe for SL receptor called yoshimulactone green which allowed us to identify the 11 members of SL receptors which orchestrate a dynamic wave-like pattern of SL perception in Striga seeds (Tsuchiya and Yoshimura et al., Science, 2015). The discovery was recently extended to develop a femto-molar range germination stimulants for Striga (Uraguchi et al., Science, 2018). In this seminar, I will present how chemical biology approach contributes to understanding this serious problem and developing lead compounds to combat against Striga.
Professor Peter McCourt
Dept of Cell and Systems Biology