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Recent advances in understanding carotenoid-derived signaling molecules in regulating plant growth and development.

Abstract

Carotenoids (C40) are synthesized in plastids and perform numerous important functions in these organelles. In addition, carotenoids can be processed into smaller signaling molecules that regulate various phases of the plant's life cycle. Besides the relatively well-studied phytohormones abscisic acid (ABA) and strigolactones (SLs), additional carotenoid-derived signaling molecules have been discovered and shown to regulate plant growth and development. As a few excellent reviews summarized recent research on ABA and SLs, this mini review will focus on progress made on identification and characterization of the emerging carotenoid-derived signals. Overall, a better understanding of carotenoid-derived signaling molecules has immediate applications in improving plant biomass production which in turn will have far reaching impacts on providing food, feed, and fuel for the growing world population.

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