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Organic farming 'benefits biodiversity' - BBC News

Organic farming 'benefits biodiversity' - BBC News | bolets.cat | Scoop.it

Organic farms act as a refuge for wild plants, offsetting the loss of biodiversity on conventional farms, a study suggests.


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Katelyn Sesny's curator insight, May 26, 2015 12:22 PM

Organic farming is a type of agriculture that uses crop rotation, green manure, compost, and biological pest control. Organic farming doesn't use GMOs to grow their crops. They are "natural". 

Emma Conde's curator insight, May 27, 2015 12:39 AM

Unit 5

This article by BBC discusses recent findings by scientists that organic farming promotes diversity of wildlife within the areas that it takes place. Many people see the downside of organic farming as that it produces lower yields than non organic commercial farming, however it does have many benefits such as this one. Diversity of wildlife is essential for sustainability, and this adds yet another advantage to organic farming.

This is important to AP human geography because organic farming is a practice that is neccessary to have knoweledge about, as it is an important option for a sustainable future in agriculture. 

S o p h i e's curator insight, July 27, 2015 2:13 PM

I'm glad to read about this and truly hope organic farming expands. Great to see this study highlights its importance for biodiversity. 

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El bosc, el gran oblidat

El bosc, el gran oblidat | bolets.cat | Scoop.it
Un retrat de la situació dels boscos a Catalunya, la majoria abandonats i mal gestionats i, per tant, una amenaça permanent d'incendis difícilment controlables.
Enric Gracia's insight:

un programa a tenir present sobre l'estat actual dels nostres boscos

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Ectomycorrhizal fungi – potential organic matter decomposers, yet not saprotrophs

Ectomycorrhizal fungi – potential organic matter decomposers, yet not saprotrophs | bolets.cat | Scoop.it
Although hypothesized for many years, the involvement of ectomycorrhizal fungi in decomposition of soil organic matter remains controversial and has not yet been fully acknowledged as an important factor in the regulation of soil carbon (C) storage. Here, we review recent findings, which support the view that some ectomycorrhizal fungi have the capacity to oxidize organic matter, either by ‘brown-rot’ Fenton chemistry or using ‘white-rot’ peroxidases. We propose that ectomycorrhizal fungi benefit from organic matter decomposition primarily through increased nitrogen mobilization rather than through release of metabolic C and question the view that ectomycorrhizal fungi may act as facultative saprotrophs. Finally, we discuss how mycorrhizal decomposition may influence organic matter storage in soils and mediate responses of ecosystem C sequestration to environmental changes.

Via Jean-Michel Ané, Francis Martin
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First evidence of mutualism between ancient plant lineages (Haplomitriopsida liverworts) and Mucoromycotina fungi and its response to simulated Palaeozoic changes in atmospheric CO2

First evidence of mutualism between ancient plant lineages (Haplomitriopsida liverworts) and Mucoromycotina fungi and its response to simulated Palaeozoic changes in atmospheric CO2 | bolets.cat | Scoop.it

The discovery that Mucoromycotina, an ancient and partially saprotrophic fungal lineage, associates with the basal liverwort lineage Haplomitriopsida casts doubt on the widely held view that Glomeromycota formed the sole ancestral plant–fungus symbiosis. Whether this association is mutualistic, and how its functioning was affected by the fall in atmospheric CO2 concentration that followed plant terrestrialization in the Palaeozoic, remains unknown.We measured carbon-for-nutrient exchanges between Haplomitriopsida liverworts and Mucoromycotina fungi under simulated mid-Palaeozoic (1500 ppm) and near-contemporary (440 ppm) CO2 concentrations using isotope tracers, and analysed cytological differences in plant–fungal interactions. Concomitantly, we cultured both partners axenically, resynthesized the associations in vitro, and characterized their cytology.We demonstrate that liverwort–Mucoromycotina symbiosis is mutualistic and mycorrhiza-like, but differs from liverwort–Glomeromycota symbiosis in maintaining functional efficiency of carbon-for-nutrient exchange between partners across CO2 concentrations. Inoculation of axenic plants with Mucoromycotina caused major cytological changes affecting the anatomy of plant tissues, similar to that observed in wild-collected plants colonized by Mucoromycotina fungi.By demonstrating reciprocal exchange of carbon for nutrients between partners, our results provide support for Mucoromycotina establishing the earliest mutualistic symbiosis with land plants. As symbiotic functional efficiency was not compromised by reduced CO2, we suggest that other factors led to the modern predominance of the Glomeromycota symbiosis.


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Exploring the transfer of recent plant photosynthates to soil microbes: mycorrhizal pathway vs direct root exudation

Exploring the transfer of recent plant photosynthates to soil microbes: mycorrhizal pathway vs direct root exudation | bolets.cat | Scoop.it
Plants rapidly release photoassimilated carbon (C) to the soil via direct root exudation and associated mycorrhizal fungi, with both pathways promoting plant nutrient availability. This study aimed to explore these pathways from the root's vascular bundle to soil microbial communities.
Using nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) imaging and 13C-phospho- and neutral lipid fatty acids, we traced in-situ flows of recently photoassimilated C of 13CO2-exposed wheat (Triticum aestivum) through arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) into root- and hyphae-associated soil microbial communities.
Intraradical hyphae of AM fungi were significantly 13C-enriched compared to other root-cortex areas after 8 h of labelling. Immature fine root areas close to the root tip, where AM features were absent, showed signs of passive C loss and co-location of photoassimilates with nitrogen taken up from the soil solution. A significant and exclusively fresh proportion of 13C-photosynthates was delivered through the AM pathway and was utilised by different microbial groups compared to C directly released by roots.
Our results indicate that a major release of recent photosynthates into soil leave plant roots via AM intraradical hyphae already upstream of passive root exudations. AM fungi may act as a rapid hub for translocating fresh plant C to soil microbes.

Via Jean-Michel Ané
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Jean-Michel Ané's curator insight, November 15, 2014 3:13 PM

Wow... very interesting.

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Inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi improves the nutritional value of tomatoes

Inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi improves the nutritional value of tomatoes | bolets.cat | Scoop.it
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi can affect many different micronutrients and macronutrients in plants and also influence host volatile compound synthesis. Their effect on the edible portions of plants is less clear. Two separate studies were performed to investigate whether inoculation by AM fungi (Rhizophagus irregularis, Funneliformis mosseae, or both) can affect the food quality of tomato fruits, in particular common minerals, antioxidants, carotenoids, a suite of vitamins, and flavor compounds (sugars, titratable acids, volatile compounds). It was found that AM fungal inoculation increased the nutrient quality of tomato fruits for most nutrients except vitamins. Fruit mineral concentration increased with inoculation (particularly N, P, and Cu). Similarly, inoculated plants had fruit with higher antioxidant capacity and more carotenoids. Furthermore, five volatile compounds were significantly higher in AM plants compared with non-AM controls. Taken together, these results show that AM fungi represent a promising resource for improving both sustainable food production and human nutritional needs.

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Molecular tools for functional genomics in filamentous fungi: Recent advances and new strategies

Molecular tools for functional genomics in filamentous fungi: Recent advances and new strategies | bolets.cat | Scoop.it

(Jiang et al, 2013)

In this review, various molecular tools used in filamentous fungi are compared and discussed, including methods for genetic transformation (e.g., protoplast transformation, electroporation, and microinjection), the construction of random mutant libraries (e.g., restriction enzyme mediated integration, transposon arrayed gene knockout, and Agrobacterium tumefaciens mediated transformation), and the analysis of gene function (e.g., RNA interference and transcription activator-like effector nucleases). We also focused on practical strategies that could enhance the efficiency of genetic manipulation in filamentous fungi, such as choosing a proper screening system and marker genes, assembling target-cassettes or vectors effectively, and transforming into strains that are deficient in the nonhomologous end joining pathway.

 

 


Via dromius, Guogen Yang, Håvard Kauserud, Francis Martin
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Lipid Droplets of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Emerge in Concert with Arbuscule Collapse

Lipid Droplets of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Emerge in Concert with Arbuscule Collapse | bolets.cat | Scoop.it
Plants share photosynthetically fixed carbon with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi to maintain their growth and nutrition. AM fungi are oleogenic fungi that contain numerous lipid droplets in their syncytial mycelia during most of their life cycle. These lipid droplets are probably used for supporting growth of extraradical mycelia and propagation; however, when and where the lipid droplets are produced remains unclear. To address these issues, we investigated the correlation between intracellular colonization stages and the appearance of fungal lipid droplets in roots by a combination of vital staining of fungal structures, selective staining of lipids and live imaging. We discovered that a surge of lipid droplets coincided with the collapse of arbuscular branches, indicating that arbuscule collapse and the emergence of lipid droplets may be associated processes. This phenomenon was observed in the model AM fungus Rhizophagus irregularis and the ancestral member of AM fungi Paraglomus occultum. Because the collapsing arbuscules were metabolically inactive, the emerged lipid droplets are probably derived from preformed lipids but not de novo synthesized. Our observations highlight a novel mode of lipid release by AM fungi.

Via Jean-Michel Ané, Francis Martin
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Jean-Michel Ané's curator insight, November 7, 2014 10:51 AM

Very nice observation

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Trees On The Move As Temperature Zones Shift 3.8 Feet A Day

Trees On The Move As Temperature Zones Shift 3.8 Feet A Day | bolets.cat | Scoop.it
To keep pace with the present rate of temperature change, plants and animals have to migrate poleward a few feet a day, according to a team of ecologists. If they can't, they may not survive.

Via Meristemi, Richard Hamelin, Kirk Broders
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A first comprehensive census of fungi in soil reveals both hyperdiversity and fine-scale niche partitioning

A first comprehensive census of fungi in soil reveals both hyperdiversity and fine-scale niche partitioning | bolets.cat | Scoop.it
D. Lee Taylor, Teresa N. Hollingsworth, Jack W. McFarland, Niall J. Lennon, Chad Nusbaum, and Roger W. Ruess 2014. A first comprehensive census of fungi in soil reveals both hyperdiversity and fine-scale niche partitioning. Ecological Monographs 84:3–20. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/12-1693.1

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Molecular tools for functional genomics in filamentous fungi: Recent advances and new strategies

Molecular tools for functional genomics in filamentous fungi: Recent advances and new strategies | bolets.cat | Scoop.it

(Jiang et al, 2013)

In this review, various molecular tools used in filamentous fungi are compared and discussed, including methods for genetic transformation (e.g., protoplast transformation, electroporation, and microinjection), the construction of random mutant libraries (e.g., restriction enzyme mediated integration, transposon arrayed gene knockout, and Agrobacterium tumefaciens mediated transformation), and the analysis of gene function (e.g., RNA interference and transcription activator-like effector nucleases). We also focused on practical strategies that could enhance the efficiency of genetic manipulation in filamentous fungi, such as choosing a proper screening system and marker genes, assembling target-cassettes or vectors effectively, and transforming into strains that are deficient in the nonhomologous end joining pathway.

 

 


Via dromius, Kirk Broders
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Expanding genomics of mycorrhizal symbiosis

Expanding genomics of mycorrhizal symbiosis | bolets.cat | Scoop.it
The mycorrhizal symbiosis between soil fungi and plant roots is a ubiquitous mutualism that plays key roles in plant nutrition, soil health, and carbon cycling. The symbiosis evolved repeatedly and independently as multiple morphotypes [e.g., arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM), ectomycorrhizal (ECM)] in multiple fungal clades (e.g., phyla Glomeromycota, Ascomycota, Basidiomycota). The accessibility and cultivability of many mycorrhizal partners make them ideal models for symbiosis studies. Alongside molecular, physiological, and ecological investigations, sequencing led to the first three mycorrhizal fungal genomes, representing two morphotypes and three phyla. The genome of the ECM basidiomycete Laccaria bicolor showed that the mycorrhizal lifestyle can evolve through loss of plant cell wall-degrading enzymes (PCWDEs) and expansion of lineage-specific gene families such as short secreted protein (SSP) effectors. The genome of the ECM ascomycete Tuber melanosporum showed that the ECM type can evolve without expansion of families as in Laccaria, and thus a different set of symbiosis genes. The genome of the AM glomeromycete Rhizophagus irregularis showed that despite enormous phylogenetic distance and morphological difference from the other two fungi, symbiosis can involve similar solutions as symbiosis-induced SSPs and loss of PCWDEs. The three genomes provide a solid base for addressing fundamental questions about the nature and role of a vital mutualism.

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MykoWeb: Article

MykoWeb: Article | bolets.cat | Scoop.it

MykoWeb -- information on mushrooms and other fungi, mycophagy, and mycology primarily for the amateur. Includes descriptions, photographs, recipes, and more.


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Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal diversity in the Tuber melanosporum brûlé

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal diversity in the Tuber melanosporum brûlé | bolets.cat | Scoop.it
The development of the fruiting body (truffle) of the ectomycorrhizal fungus Tuber melanosporum is associated with the production of an area (commonly referred to with the French word brûlé) around its symbiotic plant that has scanty vegetation. As truffles produce metabolites that can mediate fungal–plant interactions, the authors wondered whether the brûlé could affect the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) that colonize the patchy herbaceous plants inside the brûlé. A morphological evaluation of the roots of plants collected in 2009 from a T. melanosporum/Quercus pubescens brûlé in France has shown that the herbaceous plants are colonized by AMF to a great extent. An analysis of the 18S rRNA sequences obtained from roots and soil inside the brûlé has shown that the AMF community structure seemed to be affected in the soil inside the brûlé where less richness was observed compared to outside the brûlé.

Via Jean-Michel Ané
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Jean-Michel Ané's curator insight, March 1, 2015 9:46 PM

OMG... Why did they try to use this French word in English?

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Manfred Girbardt and Charles Bracker: outstanding pioneers in fungal microscopy : Nature Reviews Microbiology : Nature Publishing Group

Manfred Girbardt and Charles Bracker: outstanding pioneers in fungal microscopy : Nature Reviews Microbiology : Nature Publishing Group | bolets.cat | Scoop.it
Midway through the twentieth century, the availability of new and improved optical and electronic microscopes facilitated rapid advances in the elucidation of the fine structure of fungal cells. In this Essay, I pay tribute to Manfred Girbardt (1919–1991) and Charles Bracker (1938–2012) — two individuals who, despite being separated by geography and the restrictions of the Cold War, both made equally fundamental discoveries in fungal cell ultrastructure and set high standards for specimen manipulation and image processing.

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▶ Les mycorhizes - symbiose plante champignon

Un court documentaire sur les enjeux de la mycorhization. Un film de Eric Paul pour la Mission Culture Scientifique de L’Université de Bourgogne.
Sous le terme un peu barbare de mycorhize se cache une réalité très concrète. Comment les racines s'associent-elles à certains champignons dans une symbiose utile à la plante ? Racines bien développées, absorption facilitée de l'eau et des éléments nutritifs, meilleure croissance... Les mycorhizes : pourquoi, comment ?

Via Isabelle Pélissié, Jean-Michel Ané
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Jean-Michel Ané's curator insight, November 22, 2014 2:05 PM

Nice documentary on mycorrhizae... in French.

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Consequences for ectomycorrhizal fungi of the selective loss or gain of pine across landscapes

Altered disturbance regimes and novel introductions are causing rapid shifts in the distribution of pines (Pinus L.). The functionally obligate symbiosis between pines and ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi dictates that shifts in the distribution of one partner will affect the distribution of the other. In this review, we examine evidence for three hypotheses. (1) The loss of photosynthates through stress or tree mortality decreases the abundance of EM fungi and selects for less carbon-demanding species. (2) Pine introductions initiate establishment of novel EM fungal communities. (3) The extent of shifts in EM fungal abundance and community composition is mediated by surrounding vegetation. We find support for these hypotheses though changes in EM fungal abundance are variable and context-dependent. We posit that the consequences of shifts in EM fungal abundance and community composition extend beyond the individual tree to the landscape; these changes may affect population dynamics of both symbionts, ecosystem processes, and the conservation and evolution of fungi. In addition to conducting baseline surveys to assess the distribution of EM fungi, increasing our understanding of their function, morphology, propagation, and controls on host-specificity, and shifts would also assist in predicting the trajectory of ecosystems following the loss or gain of pine.

Via Jean-Michel Ané
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Phylogenomics resolves the timing and pattern of insect evolution

Phylogenomics resolves the timing and pattern of insect evolution | bolets.cat | Scoop.it
Insects are the most speciose group of animals, but the phylogenetic relationships of many major lineages remain unresolved. We inferred the phylogeny of insects from 1478 protein-coding genes. Phylogenomic analyses of nucleotide and amino acid sequences, with site-specific nucleotide or domain-specific amino acid substitution models, produced statistically robust and congruent results resolving previously controversial phylogenetic relations hips. We dated the origin of insects to the Early Ordovician [~479 million years ago (Ma)], of insect flight to the Early Devonian (~406 Ma), of major extant lineages to the Mississippian (~345 Ma), and the major diversification of holometabolous insects to the Early Cretaceous. Our phylogenomic study provides a comprehensive reliable scaffold for future comparative analyses of evolutionary innovations among insects.

Via Francis Martin
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Searching for new branches on the tree of life

Searching for new branches on the tree of life | bolets.cat | Scoop.it

Ever since Woese's seminal work nearly 40 years ago (1), life has been divided into three domains: Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukaryota. But could there be life that does not fit into any of these domains? Novel techniques for exploring microbes that cannot readily be grown in the laboratory offer hope that scientists can discover such life, if it exists (see the first figure). These methods include metagenomics, which involves the sequencing of DNA extracted from environmental samples, and single-cell genomics, where individual microbial cells are isolated from the environment and their genomes amplified and sequenced.

On the basis of these and other approaches, we propose that microbial life be operationally divided into three categories: explored, unexplored, and undiscovered. It is among the latter that potential signs of additional branches on the tree of life beyond the three known domains may be found.

EXPLORED, UNEXPLORED, UNDISCOVERED. ...


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Exploring the transfer of recent plant photosynthates to soil microbes: mycorrhizal pathway vs direct root exudation

Exploring the transfer of recent plant photosynthates to soil microbes: mycorrhizal pathway vs direct root exudation | bolets.cat | Scoop.it
Plants rapidly release photoassimilated carbon (C) to the soil via direct root exudation and associated mycorrhizal fungi, with both pathways promoting plant nutrient availability. This study aimed to explore these pathways from the root's vascular bundle to soil microbial communities.
Using nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) imaging and 13C-phospho- and neutral lipid fatty acids, we traced in-situ flows of recently photoassimilated C of 13CO2-exposed wheat (Triticum aestivum) through arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) into root- and hyphae-associated soil microbial communities.
Intraradical hyphae of AM fungi were significantly 13C-enriched compared to other root-cortex areas after 8 h of labelling. Immature fine root areas close to the root tip, where AM features were absent, showed signs of passive C loss and co-location of photoassimilates with nitrogen taken up from the soil solution. A significant and exclusively fresh proportion of 13C-photosynthates was delivered through the AM pathway and was utilised by different microbial groups compared to C directly released by roots.
Our results indicate that a major release of recent photosynthates into soil leave plant roots via AM intraradical hyphae already upstream of passive root exudations. AM fungi may act as a rapid hub for translocating fresh plant C to soil microbes.

Via Francis Martin
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Fungal endophyte increases the allelopathic effects of an invasive forb - Springer

Fungal endophyte increases the allelopathic effects of an invasive forb - Springer | bolets.cat | Scoop.it

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Modern symbionts inside cells mimic organelle evolution

Modern symbionts inside cells mimic organelle evolution | bolets.cat | Scoop.it
Some 2 billion years ago, primitive cells took in guests—and life was changed for good. A once free-living bacterium took up residence in a cell and gave rise to the organelles called mitochondria, which generate energy for their host cells by oxidizing sugars and also equipped some early life to survive Earth's increasing levels of oxygen. Another intracellular guest microbe became the ancestor of chloroplasts, the photosynthesizing organelles that made plants and algae possible.

Those momentous events, investigators are realizing, were not one-of-a-kind. Endosymbiosis, as a mutually beneficial relationship between an organism and a guest living inside its cells is called, is alive and well today, and has lessons to offer for how the process played out early in life history. “The line separating endosymbiont from organelle is very unclear indeed,” said John McCutcheon, a biologist at the University of Montana, Missoula, earlier this month at “Symbioses becoming permanent,” a meeting held here by the National Academy of Sciences and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

Via Francis Martin, Kirk Broders
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Ectomycorrhizal Fungi and Their Applications

Ectomycorrhizal Fungi and Their Applications | bolets.cat | Scoop.it
Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi form association with relatively small number of plants that dominate boreal, temperate, Mediterranean, and some subtropical forest ecosystems. These plant species have been able to acquire metabolic capabilities through symbioses with ECM fungi, thus improving their mineral nutrition and growth in several ecological niches. Mycorrhizal fungi can also play several other important ecological roles, including the protection of plants from abiotic and biotic stresses. Several “targeted” metagenomic projects have been carried out, or are now in progress, in order to identify the fungal communities in soil, including ECM fungi, which are present in various habitats (e.g., forest and truffle-ground soils, etc.). ECM fungi, which are important both because of their economic value as edible fungi (i.e., truffles, boletes) and because of their application in reforestation projects, are the subject of this chapter, in which the recent advances in ECM fungal communities are reviewed, focusing mainly on the applicative aspects related to the use of these fungi.

Via Jean-Michel Ané
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From lateral root density to nodule number, the strigolactone analogue GR24 shapes the root architecture of Medicago truncatula

From lateral root density to nodule number, the strigolactone analogue GR24 shapes the root architecture of Medicago truncatula | bolets.cat | Scoop.it
In the rhizosphere, strigolactones not only act as crucial signalling molecules in the communication of plants with parasitic weeds and arbuscular mycorrhiza, but they also play a key role in regulating different aspects of the root system. Here we investigated how strigolactones influence the root architecture of Medicago truncatula. We provide evidence that addition of the synthetic strigolactone analogue GR24 has an inhibitory effect on the lateral root density. Moreover, treatment with GR24 of Sinorhizobium meliloti-inoculated M. truncatula plants affects the nodule number both positively and negatively, depending on the concentration. Plants treated with 0.1 µM GR24 had a slightly increased number of nodules, whereas concentrations of 2 and 5 µM strongly reduced it. This effect was independent of the autoregulation of nodulation mechanism that is controlled by SUPER NUMERIC NODULE. Furthermore, we demonstrate that GR24 controls the nodule number through crosstalk with SICKLE-dependent ethylene signalling. Additionally, because the expression of the nodulation marker EARLY NODULATION11 was strongly reduced in GR24-treated plants, we concluded that strigolactones influence nodulation at a very early stage of the symbiotic interaction.

Via Jean-Michel Ané
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