Plants secrete a variety of compounds inside the rhizosphere to control the interactions with surrounding organisms.
One group of rhizosphere compounds are strigolactons (SLs). They are known for the induction of arbuscular mycorrhization (AM) to overcome nutrient limitations. Furthermore, SLs are used as a recognition signal by parasitic weeds such as Orobanche and Striga spp for germination, leading to important crop losses world-wide. Besides, they also act as plant hormones influencing plant architecture through the fine-tuning of shoot branching and root growth. We want to expose SL signaling networks in order to understand the role of SLs in root architecture and during parasitic weed germination. To achieve our goal, we combine various proteomic approaches to identify the importance of post-translational modification such as ubiquitination and phosphorylation during SL signaling in Arabidopsis and parasitic weeds. In parallel, chemical screens will identify compounds that stimulate or inhibit SL functioning and can be used as example compounds for the development of specific herbicides against the parasitic weeds. In-depth analysis of identified signaling steps and compounds will provide new insights in how this group of hormones exerts its function in plants and in the rhizosphere.