Our paper comes out in PNAS

A visit to the Shirasu Lab in November 2014 started a very productive collaboration which resulted in our paper accepted in PNAS this month. We discovered that the parasitic plant Phtheriospermum japonicum increases cytokinin levels upon infection and pumps these plant hormones in its host, Arabidopsis thaliana. This hormone movement activates secondary growth in the Arabidopsis plant, making the roots fatter. This in turn appears to make the host more susceptible to infection. To read more, see:


Spallek T*, Melnyk CW*, Wakatake T, Zhang J, Sakamoto Y, Kiba T, Yoshida S, Matsunaga S, Sakakibara H, Shirasu K. 2017. Interspecies hormonal control of host root morphology by parasitic plants. PNAS. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1619078114. * joint first author. (link)

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