Unlocked Enzyme Structure Shows How Strigolactone Hormone Controls Plant Growth, Including Regulation of Shoot Branching, Root Architecture, Leaf Senescence, and Symbiosis with Fungi

Arabidopsis thaliana
As sessile organisms, plants have to continually adapt their growth and architecture to the ever-changing environment. To do so, plants have evolved distinct molecular mechanisms to sense and respond to the environment and to integrate the signals from outside with endogenous developmental programs. New research from Nitzan Shabek’s (PhD) laboratory at the University of California (UC) Davis College of Biological Sciences, published on April 28, 2022 in Nature Plants, unravels the underlying mechanism of protein targeting and destruction in a specific plant hormone signaling pathway. The article is titled “A Conformational Switch in the SCF-D3/MAX2 Ubiquitin Ligase Facilitates Strigolactone Signalling. “Our lab aims at deciphering sensing mechanisms in plants and understanding how specific enzymes function can be regulated at the molecular levels” said Dr. Shabek, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Structural Biology in the Department of Plant Biology. “We have been studying a new plant hormone signal, strigolactone, that governs numerous processes of growth and development, including branching and root architecture.” 
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