Evaluation of granular formulated strigolactone analogs for Striga suicidal germination.

Jamil M, Margueritte O, Yonli D, Wang JY, Navangi L, Mudavadi P, Patil RH, Bhoge SE, Traore H, Runo S, Al-Babili S

Published: 18 April 2024 in Pest management science
Keywords: Striga hermonthica, cereals, methyl phenlactonoate, strigolactone analogs, suicidal germination
Pubmed ID: 38634513
DOI: 10.1002/ps.8136

BACKGROUND: Striga hermonthica, an obligate root parasitic weed, poses a significant threat to cereal production in sub-Saharan Africa. Lowering Striga seed bank in infested soils is a promising strategy to mitigate infestation levels. The dependency of Striga seed germination on strigolactones opens up the possibility of a 'suicidal germination' approach, where synthetic germination stimulants induce lethal germination in the absence of a host. Implementing this approach requires active germination stimulants with a suitable formulation for field application. Here, we describe the development of slow-releasing granular formulation of two potent germination stimulants 'Methyl Phenlactonoate 3' and 'Nijmegen-1' and the assessment of their activity under Laboratory, greenhouse, mini-field, and field conditions.RESULTS: Under laboratory conditions, the granular formulation of either of the two germination stimulants (1.25 mg per plate, corresponding to 0.09 mg a.i.) induced Striga seed germination at a rate of up to 43%. With 10 mg granular product (0.75 mg a.i.) per pot, we observed 77-83% reduction in Striga emergence under greenhouse pot conditions. Application of the formulated stimulants under artificially or naturally infested fields resulted in approximately 56%, 60%, and 72% reduction in Striga emergence in maize, sorghum, and millet fields in Kenya and Burkina Faso, respectively.CONCLUSION: Our findings on the newly designed granular formulation of Methyl Phenlactonoate 3 and Nijmegen-1 reveal encouraging prospects for addressing the Striga problem in Africa. These findings underscore several significant advantages of the formulated stimulants, including suitability for the African agricultural context, and, most importantly, their effectiveness in reducing Striga infection. © 2024 The Authors. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.