Selective herbicides against C4 plants would be of outmost importance for the agribusiness and a major turning point in the control of the worst weeds in the world.
Scientists of the Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf succeeded in finding a sophisticated way to sustainably and selectively inhibit C4 type phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) carboxylase, an enzyme that has an important role in CO2 fixation and exists in all variants of C4 metabolism. In contrast to existing approaches the small molecules regarding the present invention do not bind to C3 type PEP carboxylases although these enzymes show sequence identity of up to 95% with the C4 enzyme. Hence they do not affect the C3 metabolism. Consequently, C3 plants prosper well, C4 plants do not.
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