A dissertation for the degree of Master of Philosophy in the School of Molecular Sciences of the University of Sussex by Robert James Grenville Howe, September, 1978

Chapter 1: Introduction: Plant Parasitism


The synthesis of synthetic strigol analogues with chiral discrimination was studied. Explanations of some features in the physical characteristics [mass, infrared, ultraviolet and proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectra] and syntheses of compounds are given.

Synthetic strigol analogues were separted into their diastereomers using High Performance Liquid Chromatography, HLPC. A hypothesis regarding the mechanism of diastereomer separation in HPLC is presented.

The effect of four diastereomer pairs, and of three other synthetic strigol analogues on the germination of seeds of two Orobanche species was studied, and the effect of one analogue and its diastereomers on the seeds of Striga hermonthica, Lactuca sativa and lentils, with regard to their germination.

Citral-b and β-ionone are proposed to be common precursors of xanthophyll and strigol. Control of the biosynthesis of xanthophyll and chlorophyll by strigol in the host plant is considered. A correlation between the parasitic nature of a species and a germination response of its seeds to a synthetic strygol analogue is presented


All the experimental work embodied in this disseration was carried out in the School of Molecular Sciences, of the University of Sussex, by the candidate, under the supervision of Prof. A. W. Johnson F.R.S.


Synthetic Strigol Analogues

Robert J G Howe
Fareham, Hampshire, England

Email • robert@websempster.com