Strigolactones are an incredible group of plant hormones with huge potential to improve crop productivity. Strigolactones have promising applications in controlling parasitic weeds, modifying plant architecture to enhance productivity, increasing nutrient access through mycorrhizal symbioses, and improving yield and survival under nutrient stress, drought and high salinity. However, their use as agricultural chemicals is impeded by their prohibitively expensive chemical synthesis, as well as outstanding questions surrounding the biology of these hormones, particularly with regard to their chemical diversity. My research aims to engineer microbes with the biochemical pathways to convert renewable feedstocks into diverse strigolactones, with the goal of creating a high titre production method for research – and ultimately for agricultural applications.
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