Conversion of carlactone to carlactonoic acid is a conserved function of MAX1 homologs in strigolactone biosynthesis

New Phytol. 2018 Jun;218(4):1522-1533. doi: 10.1111/nph.15055. Epub 2018 Feb 26.


Strigolactones (SLs) are a class of plant hormones which regulate shoot branching and function as host recognition signals for symbionts and parasites in the rhizosphere. However, steps in SL biosynthesis after carlactone (CL) formation remain elusive. This study elucidated the common and diverse functions of MAX1 homologs which catalyze CL oxidation. We have reported previously that ArabidopsisMAX1 converts CL to carlactonoic acid (CLA), whereas a rice MAX1 homolog has been shown to catalyze the conversion of CL to 4-deoxyorobanchol (4DO). To determine which reaction is conserved in the plant kingdom, we investigated the enzymatic function of MAX1 homologs in Arabidopsis, rice, maize, tomato, poplar and Selaginella moellendorffii. The conversion of CL to CLA was found to be a common reaction catalyzed by MAX1 homologs, and MAX1s can be classified into three types: A1-type, converting CL to CLA; A2-type, converting CL to 4DO via CLA; and A3-type, converting CL to CLA and 4DO to orobanchol. CLA was detected in root exudates from poplar and Selaginella, but not ubiquitously in other plants examined in this study, suggesting its role as a species-specific signal in the rhizosphere. This study provides new insights into the roles of MAX1 in endogenous and rhizosphere signaling.

Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; Selaginella moellendorffii; Oryza sativa (rice); Populus trichocarpa (poplar); Solanum lycopersicum (tomato); Zea mays (maize); cytochrome P450; strigolactone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis
  • Biocatalysis
  • Biosynthetic Pathways*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Lactones / chemistry
  • Lactones / metabolism*
  • Metabolome
  • Microsomes / metabolism
  • Nicotiana / metabolism
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Growth Regulators / chemistry
  • Plant Growth Regulators / metabolism*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid*


  • Lactones
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Plant Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • carlactone
  • orobanchol

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AK316903
  • GENBANK/AY054688
  • GENBANK/JX235697
  • GENBANK/JX235696
  • GENBANK/JX566699
  • GENBANK/AK122138
  • GENBANK/JX566698
  • GENBANK/FJ957947
  • GENBANK/LC318663
  • GENBANK/NM_001152340
  • GENBANK/XM_004245037
  • GENBANK/XM_006371954
  • GENBANK/XM_006381949
  • GENBANK/JX566702
  • GENBANK/LC314646