Exogenous phytohormone application and transcriptome analysis of Mikania micrantha provides insights for a potential control strategy.
Effective and complete control of the invasive weed Mikania micrantha is required to avoid increasing damages. We exogenously applied indole 3-acetic acid (IAA), gibberellin (GA), and N-(2-Chloro-4-pyridyl)-N'-phenylurea (CPPU), and their combinations i.e. IAA + CPPU (IC), GA + CPPU (GC), and GA + IAA + CPPU (GIC), at 5, 10, 25, 50, and 75 ppm against distilled water as a control (CK), to examine their effects on the weed. The increasing concentrations of these hormones when applied alone or in combination were fatal to M. micrantha and led towards the death of inflorescences and/or florets. CPPU and GIC were found as the most effective phytohormones. Transcriptome analysis revealed differential regulation of genes in auxin, cytokinin, gibberellin and abscisic acid signaling pathways, suggesting their role in the prohibition of axillary bud differentiation. Collectively, CPPU and GIC at a high concentration (75 ppm) could be used as a control measure to protect forests and other lands from the invasion of M. micrantha.