Disruption of the rice 4-DEOXYOROBANCHOL HYDROXYLASE unravels specific functions of canonical strigolactones

Guan Ting Erica Chen, Jian You Wang, Cristina Votta, Justine Braguy, Muhammad Jamil, Gwendolyn K. Kirschner, Valentina Fiorilli, Lamis Berqdar, Aparna Balakrishna, Ikram Blilou, Luisa Lanfranco, Salim Al-Babili*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Strigolactones (SLs) regulate many developmental processes, including shootbranching/tillering, and mediate rhizospheric interactions. SLs originate from carlactone (CL) and are structurally diverse, divided into a canonical and a noncanonical subfamily. Rice contains two canonical SLs, 4-deoxyorobanchol (4DO) and orobanchol (Oro), which are common in different plant species. The cytochrome P450 OsMAX1-900 forms 4DO from CL through repeated oxygenation and ring closure, while the homologous enzyme OsMAX1-1400 hydroxylates 4DO into Oro. To better understand the biological function of 4DO and Oro, we generated CRISPR/Cas9 mutants disrupted in OsMAX1-1400 or in both OsMAX1-900 and OsMAX1-1400. The loss of OsMAX1-1400 activity led to a complete lack of Oro and an accumulation of its precursor 4DO. Moreover, Os1400 mutants showed shorter plant height, panicle and panicle base length, but no tillering phenotype. Hormone quantification and transcriptome analysis of Os1400 mutants revealed elevated auxin levels and changes in the expression of auxin-related, as well as of SL biosynthetic genes. Interestingly, the Os900/1400 double mutant lacking both Oro and 4DO did not show the observed Os1400 architectural phenotypes, indicating their being a result of 4DO accumulation. Treatment of wild-type plants with 4DO confirmed this assumption. A comparison of the Striga seed germinating activity and the mycorrhization of Os900, Os900/1400, and Os1400 loss-of-function mutants demonstrated that the germination activity positively correlates with 4DO content while disrupting OsMAX1-1400 has a negative impact on mycorrhizal symbiosis. Taken together, our paper deciphers the biological function of canonical SLs in rice and reveals their particular contributions to establishing architecture and rhizospheric communications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2306263120
Issue number42
StatePublished - 2023


  • arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
  • cytochrome P450
  • plant architecture
  • Striga
  • strigolactones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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