What We Do
Striga Solutions provides new and efficient tools to eradicate Striga from farming fields in sub-Saharan Africa.
How We Work
A Multidisciplinary Approach
We believe that only a multidisciplinary approach can help to mitigate the Striga problem due to the complex and dynamic host-parasite interaction. Our research integrates three complementary approaches to sustainably control Striga.
We are depleting Striga seedbanks by utilizing the parasitic weed’s dependency on host-related germination stimulants, Strigolactones, to induce suicidal germination of Striga seeds.
We are reducing the impact of Striga infestation on host crops and improving development through hormone-based control technologies.
Genetic and Molecular Tools
We are exploring highly resistant and susceptible pearl millet lines to determine and identify Striga resistance factors in this major cereal crop of sub-Saharan Africa.
The Striga life cycle
When exposed to hot and humid environments, Striga seeds become pre-conditioned and receptive to host-released stimulants that trigger germination. Thereafter, Striga develops a haustorium that attaches to host roots to hijack water and nutrients, causing tremendous yield losses.
Image Credit: Xavier Pita (Research Communication, KAUST)
Suicidal germination technology applied in rainfed African agriculture
We have developed a protocol of applying the suicidal germination technology in rain-fed agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. This protocol fits well with the available local resources and relies mainly on rain water.
Rational design of Striga hermonthica-specific seed germination inhibitor
We have developed a Striga-specific germination inhibitor “KK023-N1” that blocks the hydrolysis activity of the Striga strigolactone receptor ShHTL7, ultimately suppressing the Striga germination and emergence. KK023-N1 provides a promising basis for rational design and development of further, more efficient Striga-specific herbicides.
Breeding of Pearl millet for Striga resistance
To get in-depth insights into the resistance mechanisms against Striga, we are sequencing the Pearl millet genome to identify Striga resistance QTLs and strigolactone biosynthetic genes in two contrasting Pearl millet lines: 29AW (Striga resistant) and SOSAT-C88-P10 (Striga susceptible).
Exploring the potential of the strigolactone analog MP3 formulated in the Emulsifiable Concentrate (EC)
We have explored the potential of EC-formulated MP3, developed by UPL India, as an encouraging suicidal germination agent. This formulation is user friendly, handy, and efficient against Striga.
Local African farmers are trained for suicidal germination
We have trained local African farmers to apply suicidal germination agents under field conditions in Burkina Faso.
Striga Solutions Team at BioActives Lab
The team members are Research scientists, Post docs, Research Assistants and PhD students, working on various aspects of Striga control under lab and green house conditions at KAUST.
The UPL Team, India
The team is working on the synthesis, analysis, and formulation of the strigolactone analogs MP3 and Nijmegen.