Research Projects

Carotenoids: A Platform for Signaling Molecules

Principal Investigator: Prof. Salim Al-Babili​

Carotenoids are known as plant pigments essential for photosynthesis and conferring their bright colors several plant organs where they are accumulated. However, the conjugated double bond system of this compound is also responsible for a further function as precursors of hormones and signaling molecules. Known examples in plants are the phytohormones strigolactones and abscisic acid. However, there increasing evidence for the presence of other yet unidentified growth regulators. In this project, we aim at he identification and characterization of such compounds, based on mutants affected in enzymes that cleave carotenoids or involved in carotenoid metabolism, and with help of synthetic compounds.. We are particularly interested in compounds that improve plant or that are involved in plant response to adverse environmental conditions.


Moise et al., 2014 Chem Rev. 114:164-93. 

Nisar et al., 2015. Carotenoid metabolism in plants. Mol Plant. 8:68-82.