Strigolactones in plant adaptation to abiotic stresses: An emerging avenue of plant research

Plant Cell Environ. 2018 Oct;41(10):2227-2243. doi: 10.1111/pce.13364. Epub 2018 Jul 24.


Phytohormones play central roles in boosting plant tolerance to environmental stresses, which negatively affect plant productivity and threaten future food security. Strigolactones (SLs), a class of carotenoid-derived phytohormones, were initially discovered as an "ecological signal" for parasitic seed germination and establishment of symbiotic relationship between plants and beneficial microbes. Subsequent characterizations have described their functional roles in various developmental processes, including root development, shoot branching, reproductive development, and leaf senescence. SLs have recently drawn much attention due to their essential roles in the regulation of various physiological and molecular processes during the adaptation of plants to abiotic stresses. Reports suggest that the production of SLs in plants is strictly regulated and dependent on the type of stresses that plants confront at various stages of development. Recently, evidence for crosstalk between SLs and other phytohormones, such as abscisic acid, in responses to abiotic stresses suggests that SLs actively participate within regulatory networks of plant stress adaptation that are governed by phytohormones. Moreover, the prospective roles of SLs in the management of plant growth and development under adverse environmental conditions have been suggested. In this review, we provide a comprehensive discussion pertaining to SL-mediated plant responses and adaptation to abiotic stresses.

Keywords: abiotic stress adaptation; hormonal crosstalk; nutrient deficiency; osmotic stress; plant architecture; strigolactones; symbiosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Carotenoids / metabolism
  • Carotenoids / physiology
  • Lactones / metabolism
  • Plant Growth Regulators / metabolism
  • Plant Growth Regulators / physiology*
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Research
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stress, Physiological


  • Lactones
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Carotenoids