MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions
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Rescooped by Francis Martin from GMOs, NBT & Sustainable agriculture
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Altering the Cell Wall and Its Impact on Plant Disease: From Forage to Bioenergy

Altering the Cell Wall and Its Impact on Plant Disease: From Forage to Bioenergy | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it

The individual sugars found within the major classes of plant cell wall polymers are dietary components of herbivores and are targeted for release in industrial processes for fermentation to liquid biofuels. With a growing understanding of the biosynthesis of the complex cell wall polymers, genetic modification strategies are being developed to target the cell wall to improve the digestibility of forage crops and to render lignocellulose less recalcitrant for bioprocessing. This raises concerns as to whether altering cell wall properties to improve biomass processing traits may inadvertently make plants more susceptible to diseases and pests. Here, we review the impacts of cell wall modification on plant defense, as assessed from studies in model plants utilizing mutants or transgenic modification and in crop plants specifically engineered for improved biomass or bioenergy traits. Such studies reveal that cell wall modifications can indeed have unintended impacts on plant defense, but these are not always negative.


Via Christophe Jacquet
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Insight into litter decomposition driven by nutrient demands of symbiosis system through the hypha bridge of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) play an important role in litter decomposition. This study investigated how soil nutrient level affected the process. Results showed that AMF colonization had no significant effect on litter decomposition under normal soil nutrient conditions. However, litter decomposition was accelerated significantly under lower nutrient conditions. Soil microbial biomass in decomposition system was significantly increased. Especially, in moderate lower nutrient treatment (condition of half-normal soil nutrient), litters exhibited the highest decomposition rate, AMF hypha revealed the greatest density, and enzymes (especially nitrate reductase) showed the highest activities as well. Meanwhile, the immobilization of nitrogen (N) in the decomposing litter remarkably decreased. Our results suggested that the roles AMF played in ecosystem were largely affected by soil nutrient levels. At normal soil nutrient level, AMF exhibited limited effects in promoting decomposition. When soil nutrient level decreased, the promoting effect of AMF on litter decomposition began to appear, especially on N mobilization. However, under extremely low nutrient conditions, AMF showed less influence on decomposition and may even compete with decomposer microorganisms for nutrients.


Via Jean-Michel Ané
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Plant membrane surrounding powdery mildew haustoria shares properties with the endoplasmic reticulum membrane

Plant membrane surrounding powdery mildew haustoria shares properties with the endoplasmic reticulum membrane | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it
Many filamentous plant pathogens place specialized feeding structures, called haustoria, inside living host cells. As haustoria grow, they are believed to manipulate plant cells to generate a specialized, still enigmatic extrahaustorial membrane (EHM) around them. Here, we focused on revealing properties of the EHM. With the help of membrane-specific dyes and transient expression of membrane-associated proteins fused to fluorescent tags, we studied the nature of the EHM generated by barley leaf epidermal cells around powdery mildew haustoria. Observations suggesting that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane-specific dyes labelled the EHM led us to find that Sar1 and RabD2a GTPases bind this membrane. These proteins are usually associated with the ER and the ER/cis-Golgi membrane, respectively. In contrast, transmembrane and luminal ER and Golgi markers failed to label the EHM, suggesting that it is not a continuum of the ER. Furthermore, GDP-locked Sar1 and a nucleotide-free RabD2a, which block ER to Golgi exit, did not hamper haustorium formation. These results indicated that the EHM shares features with the plant ER membrane, but that the EHM membrane is not dependent on conventional secretion. This raises the prospect that an unconventional secretory pathway from the ER may provide this membrane’s material. Understanding these processes will assist future approaches to providing resistance by preventing EHM generation.
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Host preference and network properties in biotrophic plant–fungal associations

Host preference and network properties in biotrophic plant–fungal associations | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it

Analytical methods can offer insights into the structure of biological networks, but mechanisms that determine the structure of these networks remain unclear. We conducted a synthesis based on 111 previously published datasets to assess a range of ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that may influence the plant-associated fungal interaction networks. We calculated the relative host effect on fungal community composition and compared nestedness and modularity among different mycorrhizal types and endophytic fungal guilds. We also assessed how plant-fungal network structure was related to host phylogeny, environmental and sampling properties. Orchid mycorrhizal fungal communities responded most strongly to host identity, but the effect of host was similar among all other fungal guilds. Community nestedness, which did not differ among fungal guilds, declined significantly with increasing mean annual precipitation on a global scale. Orchid and ericoid mycorrhizal fungal communities were more modular than ectomycorrhizal and root endophytic communities, with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in an intermediate position. Network properties among a broad suite of plant-associated fungi were largely comparable and generally unrelated to phylogenetic distance among hosts. Instead, network metrics were predominantly affected by sampling and matrix properties, indicating the importance of study design in properly inferring ecological patterns.


Via Stéphane Hacquard
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J Exp Bot - Plant extracellular vesicles are incorporated by a fungal pathogen and inhibit its growth

J Exp Bot - Plant extracellular vesicles are incorporated by a fungal pathogen and inhibit its growth | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it

Extracellular vesicles (EV) are membrane particles released by cells into their environment and are considered to be key players in intercellular communication. EV are produced by all domains of life but limited knowledge about EV in plants is available, although their implication in plant defense has been suggested. We have characterized sunflower EV and tested whether they could interact with fungal cells. EV were isolated from extracellular fluids of seedlings and characterized by transmission electron microscopy and proteomic analysis. These nanovesicles appeared to be enriched in cell wall remodeling enzymes and defense proteins. Membrane-labeled EV were prepared and their uptake by the phytopathogenic fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum was verified. Functional tests further evaluated the ability of EV to affect fungal growth. Spores treated with plant EV showed growth inhibition, morphological changes, and cell death. Conclusive evidence on the existence of plant EV is presented and we demonstrate their ability to interact with and kill fungal cells. Our results introduce the concept of cell-to-cell communication through EV in plants.


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Comparative and population genomic landscape of Phellinus noxius: A hypervariable fungus causing root rot in trees - Chung - 2017 - Molecular Ecology - Wiley Online Library

Comparative and population genomic landscape of Phellinus noxius: A hypervariable fungus causing root rot in trees - Chung - 2017 - Molecular Ecology - Wiley Online Library | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it
The order Hymenochaetales of white rot fungi contain some of the most aggressive wood decayers causing tree deaths around the world. Despite their ecological importance and the impact of diseases they cause, little is known about the evolution and transmission patterns of these pathogens. Here, we sequenced and undertook comparative genomic analyses of Hymenochaetales genomes using brown root rot fungus Phellinus noxius, wood-decomposing fungus Phellinus lamaensis, laminated root rot fungus Phellinus sulphurascens and trunk pathogen Porodaedalea pini. Many gene families of lignin-degrading enzymes were identified from these fungi, reflecting their ability as white rot fungi. Comparing against distant fungi highlighted the expansion of 1,3-beta-glucan synthases in P. noxius, which may account for its fast-growing attribute. We identified 13 linkage groups conserved within Agaricomycetes, suggesting the evolution of stable karyotypes. We determined that P. noxius has a bipolar heterothallic mating system, with unusual highly expanded ~60 kb A locus as a result of accumulating gene transposition. We investigated the population genomics of 60 P. noxius isolates across multiple islands of the Asia Pacific region. Whole-genome sequencing showed this multinucleate species contains abundant poly-allelic single nucleotide polymorphisms with atypical allele frequencies. Different patterns of intra-isolate polymorphism reflect mono-/heterokaryotic states which are both prevalent in nature. We have shown two genetically separated lineages with one spanning across many islands despite the geographical barriers. Both populations possess extraordinary genetic diversity and show contrasting evolutionary scenarios. These results provide a framework to further investigate the genetic basis underlying the fitness and virulence of white rot fungi.
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Zero-calorie sugar delivery to roots

Zero-calorie sugar delivery to roots | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it
Resistance to moving sugars from foliage to roots is high in trees, suggesting that the transport mechanism found in herbs might not work in trees. Now with new measurements of phloem structure and leaf turgor pressure, it has been shown that the Münch pressure-flow hypothesis can also explain sugar transport in tall trees.
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Maintenance of carbohydrate transport in tall trees

Maintenance of carbohydrate transport in tall trees | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it
Trees present a critical challenge to long-distance transport because as a tree grows in height and the transport pathway increases in length, the hydraulic resistance of the vascular tissue should increase. This has led many to question whether trees can rely on a passive transport mechanism to move carbohydrates from their leaves to their roots. Although species that actively load sugars into their phloem, such as vines and herbs, can increase the driving force for transport as they elongate, it is possible that many trees cannot generate high turgor pressures because they do not use transporters to load sugar into the phloem. Here, we examine how trees can maintain efficient carbohydrate transport as they grow taller by analysing sieve tube anatomy, including sieve plate geometry, using recently developed preparation and imaging techniques, and by measuring the turgor pressures in the leaves of a tall tree in situ. Across nine deciduous species, we find that hydraulic resistance in the phloem scales inversely with plant height because of a shift in sieve element structure along the length of individual trees. This scaling relationship seems robust across multiple species despite large differences in plate anatomy. The importance of this scaling becomes clear when phloem transport is modelled using turgor pressures measured in the leaves of a mature red oak tree. These pressures are of sufficient magnitude to drive phloem transport only in concert with structural changes in the phloem that reduce transport resistance. As a result, the key to the long-standing mystery of how trees maintain phloem transport as they increase in size lies in the structure of the phloem and its ability to change hydraulic properties with plant height.
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ASMscience | Sources of Fungal Genetic Variation and Associating It with Phenotypic Diversity

ASMscience | Sources of Fungal Genetic Variation and Associating It with Phenotypic Diversity | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it
The first eukaryotic genome to be sequenced was fungal, and there continue to be more sequenced genomes in the kingdom Fungi than in any other eukaryotic kingdom. Comparison of these genomes reveals many sources of genetic variation, from single nucleotide polymorphisms to horizontal gene transfer and on to changes in the arrangement and number of chromosomes, not to mention endofungal bacteria and viruses. Population genomics shows that all sources generate variation all the time and implicate natural selection as the force maintaining genome stability. Variation in wild populations is a rich resource for associating genetic variation with phenotypic variation, whether through quantitative trait locus mapping, genome-wide association studies, or reverse ecology. Subjects of studies associating genetic and phenotypic variation include model fungi, e.g., Saccharomyces and Neurospora, but pioneering studies have also been made with fungi pathogenic to plants, e.g., Pyricularia (= Magnaporthe), Zymoseptoria, and Fusarium, and to humans, e.g., Coccidioides, Cryptococcus, and Candida.


Via Steve Marek, Jessie Uehling
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Concurrent isotope-assisted metabolic flux analysis and transcriptome profiling reveal responses of poplar cells to altered nitrogen and carbon supply

Concurrent isotope-assisted metabolic flux analysis and transcriptome profiling reveal responses of poplar cells to altered nitrogen and carbon supply | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it
Reduced nitrogen is indispensable to plants. However, its limited availability in soil combined with the energetic and environmental impacts of nitrogen fertilizers motivates research into molecular mechanisms toward improving plant nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). We performed a systems-level investigation of this problem by employing multiple ‘omics methodologies on cell suspensions of hybrid poplar (Populus tremula x Populus alba). Acclimation and growth of the cell suspensions in four nutrient regimes ranging from abundant to deficient supplies of carbon and nitrogen revealed that cell growth under low-nitrogen levels was associated with substantially higher NUE. To investigate the underlying metabolic and molecular mechanisms, we concurrently performed steady-state 13C metabolic flux analysis with multiple isotope labels and transcriptomic profiling with cDNA microarrays. The 13C flux analysis revealed that the absolute flux through the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway (oxPPP) was substantially lower (~3-fold) under low-nitrogen conditions. Additionally, the flux partitioning ratio between the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and anaplerotic pathways varied from 84%:16% under abundant carbon and nitrogen to 55%:45% under deficient carbon and nitrogen. Gene expression data, together with the flux results, suggested a plastidic localization of the oxPPP as well as transcriptional regulation of certain metabolic branchpoints including those between glycolysis and the oxPPP. The transcriptome data also indicated that NUE-improving mechanisms may involve a redirection of excess carbon to aromatic metabolic pathways and extensive downregulation of potentially redundant genes (in these heterotrophic cells) that encode photosynthetic and light-harvesting proteins, suggesting the recruitment of these proteins as nitrogen sinks in nitrogen-abundant conditions.
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Independent signalling cues underpin arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis and large lateral root induction in rice

Independent signalling cues underpin arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis and large lateral root induction in rice | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it
Perception of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) triggers distinct plant signalling responses for parallel establishment of symbiosis and induction of lateral root formation. Rice receptor kinase CHITIN ELICITOR RECEPTOR KINASE 1 (CERK1) and α/β-fold hydrolase DWARF14-LIKE (D14L) are involved in pre-symbiotic fungal perception. After 6 wk post-inoculation with Rhizophagus irregularis, root developmental responses, fungal colonization and transcriptional responses were monitored in two independent cerk1 null mutants; a deletion mutant lacking D14L, and with D14L complemented as well as their respective wild-type cultivars (cv Nipponbare and Nihonmasari). Here we show that although essential for symbiosis, D14L is dispensable for AMF-induced root architectural modulation, which conversely relies on CERK1. Our results demonstrate uncoupling of symbiosis and the symbiotic root developmental signalling during pre-symbiosis with CERK1 required for AMF-induced root architectural changes.
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Fresh knowledge for an old relationship: new discoveries in molecular mycorrhizal research

3rd International Molecular Mycorrhiza Meeting (iMMM), Toulouse, France, July 2017 At the end of July 2017, the foremost researchers in molecular mycorrhizal biology met together at the Natural History Museum of Toulouse to discuss new and cutting edge discoveries in this field. The meeting follows on from the success of the two previous meetings in Munich (2012) and Cambridge (2015). The days were packed with both scientific and social activity, including lovely lunches in the shade of the Toulouse botanical gardens, and a conference dinner cruising on the Garonne River


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Bacterial endosymbionts influence host sexuality and reveal reproductive genes of early divergent fungi

Bacterial endosymbionts influence host sexuality and reveal reproductive genes of early divergent fungi | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it
Many heritable mutualisms, in which beneficial symbionts are transmitted vertically between host generations, originate as antagonisms with parasite dispersal constrained by the host. Only after the parasite gains control over its transmission is the symbiosis expected to transition from antagonism to mutualism. Here, we explore this prediction in the mutualism between the fungus Rhizopus microsporus (Rm, Mucoromycotina) and a beta-proteobacterium Burkholderia, which controls host asexual reproduction. We show that reproductive addiction of Rm to endobacteria extends to mating, and is mediated by the symbiont gaining transcriptional control of the fungal ras2 gene, which encodes a GTPase central to fungal reproductive development. We also discover candidate G-protein-coupled receptors for the perception of trisporic acids, mating pheromones unique to Mucoromycotina. Our results demonstrate that regulating host asexual proliferation and modifying its sexual reproduction are sufficient for the symbiont’s control of its own transmission, needed for antagonism-to-mutualism transition in heritable symbioses. These properties establish the Rm-Burkholderia symbiosis as a powerful system for identifying reproductive genes in Mucoromycotina.
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The meaning of intragenomic conflict - Nature Ecol. Evol.

The meaning of intragenomic conflict - Nature Ecol. Evol. | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it

Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in genes that function for their own good and to the detriment of other genes that reside in the same genome. Such intragenomic conflicts are increasingly recognized to underpin maladaptation and disease. However, progress has been impeded by a lack of clear understanding regarding what intragenomic conflict actually means, and an associated obscurity concerning its fundamental drivers. Here we develop a general theory of intragenomic conflict in which genes are viewed as inclusive-fitness-maximizing agents that come into conflict when their inclusive-fitness interests disagree. This yields a classification of all intragenomic conflicts into three categories according to whether genes disagree about where they have come from, where they are going, or where they currently are. We illustrate each of these three basic categories, survey and classify all known forms of intragenomic conflict, and discuss the implications for organismal maladaptation and human disease.


Via Pierre Gladieux, Ronny Kellner
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CONSTAX: a tool for improved taxonomic resolution of environmental fungal ITS sequences

CONSTAX: a tool for improved taxonomic resolution of environmental fungal ITS sequences | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it

Background
One of the most crucial steps in high-throughput sequence-based microbiome studies is the taxonomic assignment of sequences belonging to operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Without taxonomic classification, functional and biological information of microbial communities cannot be inferred or interpreted. The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the ribosomal DNA is the conventional marker region for fungal community studies. While bioinformatics pipelines that cluster reads into OTUs have received much attention in the literature, less attention has been given to the taxonomic classification of these sequences, upon which biological inference is dependent.


Results
Here we compare how three common fungal OTU taxonomic assignment tools (RDP Classifier, UTAX, and SINTAX) handle ITS fungal sequence data. The classification power, defined as the proportion of assigned OTUs at a given taxonomic rank, varied among the classifiers. Classifiers were generally consistent (assignment of the same taxonomy to a given OTU) across datasets and ranks; a small number of OTUs were assigned unique classifications across programs. We developed CONSTAX (CONSensus TAXonomy), a Python tool that compares taxonomic classifications of the three programs and merges them into an improved consensus taxonomy. This tool also produces summary classification outputs that are useful for downstream analyses.


Conclusions
Our results demonstrate that independent taxonomy assignment tools classify unique members of the fungal community, and greater classification power is realized by generating consensus taxonomy of available classifiers with CONSTAX.

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An Ancient Transkingdom Horizontal Transfer of Penelope -Like Retroelements from Arthropods to Conifers

An Ancient Transkingdom Horizontal Transfer of  Penelope  -Like Retroelements from Arthropods to Conifers | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it
Comparative genomics analyses empowered by the wealth of sequenced genomes have revealed numerous instances of horizontal DNA transfers between distantly related species. In eukaryotes, repetitive DNA sequences known as transposable elements (TEs) are especially prone to move across species boundaries. Such horizontal transposon transfers, or HTTs, are relatively common within major eukaryotic kingdoms, including animals, plants, and fungi, while rarely occurring across these kingdoms. Here, we describe the first case of HTT from animals to plants, involving TEs known as Penelope -like elements, or PLEs, a group of retrotransposons closely related to eukaryotic telomerases. Using a combination of in situ hybridization on chromosomes, polymerase chain reaction experiments, and computational analyses we show that the predominant PLE lineage, EN(+)PLEs, is highly diversified in loblolly pine and other conifers, but appears to be absent in other gymnosperms. Phylogenetic analyses of both protein and DNA sequences reveal that conifers EN(+)PLEs, or Dryads , form a monophyletic group clustering within a clade of primarily arthropod elements. Additionally, no EN(+)PLEs were detected in 1,928 genome assemblies from 1,029 nonmetazoan and nonconifer genomes from 14 major eukaryotic lineages. These findings indicate that Dryads emerged following an ancient horizontal transfer of EN(+)PLEs from arthropods to a common ancestor of conifers approximately 340 Ma. This represents one of the oldest known interspecific transmissions of TEs, and the most conspicuous case of DNA transfer between animals and plants
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Comprehensive genome-wide classification reveals that many plant-specific transcription factors evolved in streptophyte algae

Comprehensive genome-wide classification reveals that many plant-specific transcription factors evolved in streptophyte algae | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it

Plant genomes encode many lineage-specific, unique transcription factors. Expansion of such gene families has been previously found to coincide with the evolution of morphological complexity, although comparative analyses have been hampered by severe sampling bias. Here, we make use of the recently increased availability of plant genomes. We have updated and expanded previous rule sets for domain-based classification of transcription associated proteins (TAPs), comprising transcription factors and transcriptional regulators. The genome-wide annotation of these protein families has been analyzed and made available via the novel TAPscan web interface. We find that many TAP families previously thought to be specific for land plants actually evolved in streptophyte (charophyte) algae; 26 out of 36 TAP family gains are inferred to have occurred in the common ancestor of the Streptophyta (uniting the land plants – Embryophyta – with their closest algal relatives). In contrast, expansions of TAP families were found to occur throughout streptophyte evolution. 17 out of 76 expansion events were found to be common to all land plants and thus probably evolved concomitant with the water-to-land-transition.


Via Pierre-Marc Delaux
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Root type and soil phosphate determine the taxonomic landscape of colonizing fungi and the transcriptome of field-grown maize roots

Root type and soil phosphate determine the taxonomic landscape of colonizing fungi and the transcriptome of field-grown maize roots | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it
Different root types of plants are colonized by a myriad of soil microorganisms, including fungi, which influence plant health and performance. The distinct functional and metabolic characteristics of these root types may influence root type-inhabiting fungal communities. We performed internal transcribed spacer (ITS) DNA profiling to determine the composition of fungal communities in field-grown axial and lateral roots of maize (Zea mays) and in response to two different soil phosphate (P) regimes. In parallel, these root types were subjected to transcriptome profiling by RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq). We demonstrated that fungal communities were influenced by soil P levels in a manner specific to root types. Moreover, maize transcriptome sequencing revealed root type-specific shifts in cell wall metabolism and defense gene expression in response to high P. Furthermore, lateral roots specifically accumulated defense-related transcripts at high P levels. This observation was correlated with a shift in fungal community composition, including a reduction in colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, as observed in ITS sequence data and microscopic evaluation of root colonization. Our findings suggest soil nutrient-dependent changes in functional niches within root systems and provide new insights into the interaction of individual root types with soil microbiota.
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Genome-Wide Identification of Medicago Peptides Involved in Macronutrient Responses and Nodulation

Genome-Wide Identification of Medicago Peptides Involved in Macronutrient Responses and Nodulation | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it
Growing evidence indicates that small, secreted peptides (SSPs) play critical roles in legume growth and development, yet the annotation of SSP-coding genes is far from complete. Systematic reannotation of the Medicago truncatula genome identified 1,970 homologs of established SSP gene families and an additional 2,455 genes that are potentially novel SSPs, previously unreported in the literature. The expression patterns of known and putative SSP genes based on 144 RNA sequencing data sets covering various stages of macronutrient deficiencies and symbiotic interactions with rhizobia and mycorrhiza were investigated. Focusing on those known or suspected to act via receptor-mediated signaling, 240 nutrient-responsive and 365 nodulation-responsive Signaling-SSPs were identified, greatly expanding the number of SSP gene families potentially involved in acclimation to nutrient deficiencies and nodulation. Synthetic peptide applications were shown to alter root growth and nodulation phenotypes, revealing additional regulators of legume nutrient acquisition. Our results constitute a powerful resource enabling further investigations of specific SSP functions via peptide treatment and reverse genetics.
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Low number of fixed somatic mutations in a long-lived oak tree

Low number of fixed somatic mutations in a long-lived oak tree | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it
Because plants do not possess a defined germline, deleterious somatic mutations can be passed to gametes, and a large number of cell divisions separating zygote from gamete formation may lead to many mutations in long-lived plants. We sequenced the genome of two terminal branches of a 234-year-old oak tree and found several fixed somatic single-nucleotide variants whose sequential appearance in the tree could be traced along nested sectors of younger branches. Our data suggest that stem cells of shoot meristems in trees are robustly protected from the accumulation of mutations.
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Ultra-low input transcriptomics reveal the spore functional content and phylogenetic affiliations of poorly studied arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

Ultra-low input transcriptomics reveal the spore functional content and phylogenetic affiliations of poorly studied arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are a group of soil microorganisms that establish symbioses with the vast majority of land plants. To date, generation of AMF coding information has been limited to model genera that grow well axenically; Rhizoglomus and Gigaspora. Meanwhile, data on the functional gene repertoire of most AMF families is non-existent. Here, we provide primary large-scale transcriptome data from eight poorly studied AMF species (Acaulospora morrowiae, Diversispora versiforme, Scutellospora calospora, Racocetra castanea, Paraglomus brasilianum, Ambispora leptoticha, Claroideoglomus claroideum and Funneliformis mosseae) using ultra-low input ribonucleic acid (RNA)-seq approaches. Our analyses reveals that quiescent spores of many AMF species harbour a diverse functional diversity and solidify known evolutionary relationships within the group. Our findings demonstrate that RNA-seq data obtained from low-input RNA are reliable in comparison to conventional RNA-seq experiments. Thus, our methodology can potentially be used to deepen our understanding of fungal microbial function and phylogeny using minute amounts of RNA material.
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Forward Genetics Approach Reveals Host Genotype-Dependent Importance of Accessory Chromosomes in the Fungal Wheat Pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici

Forward Genetics Approach Reveals Host Genotype-Dependent Importance of Accessory Chromosomes in the Fungal Wheat Pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it
The fungal wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici possesses a large complement of accessory chromosomes showing presence/absence polymorphism among isolates. These chromosomes encode hundreds of genes; however, their functional role and why the chromosomes have been maintained over long evolutionary times are so far not known. In this study, we addressed the functional relevance of eight accessory chromosomes in reference isolate IPO323. We induced chromosome losses by inhibiting the β-tubulin assembly during mitosis using carbendazim and generated several independent isogenic strains, each lacking one of the accessory chromosomes. We confirmed chromosome losses by electrophoretic karyotyping and whole-genome sequencing. To assess the importance of the individual chromosomes during host infection, we performed in planta assays comparing disease development results in wild-type and chromosome mutant strains. Loss of the accessory chromosomes 14, 16, 18, 19, and 21 resulted in increased virulence on wheat cultivar Runal but not on cultivars Obelisk, Titlis, and Riband. Moreover, some accessory chromosomes affected the switch from biotrophy to necrotrophy as strains lacking accessory chromosomes 14, 18, 19, and 21 showed a significantly earlier onset of necrosis than the wild type on the Runal cultivar. In general, we observed that the timing of the lifestyle switch affects the fitness of Z. tritici. Taking the results together, this study was the first to use a forward-genetics approach to demonstrate a cultivar-dependent functional relevance of the accessory chromosomes of Z. tritici during host infection.
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Sharing resources for mutual benefit: crosstalk between disciplines deepens the understanding of mycorrhizal symbioses across scales

Sharing resources for mutual benefit: crosstalk between disciplines deepens the understanding of mycorrhizal symbioses across scales | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it
Mycorrhizal scientists from 53 countries gathered in the city of Prague from 30 July until 4 August 2017 for the 9th International Conference on Mycorrhiza (ICOM9). They came to discuss an ancient symbiosis based on the exchange of resources between plant and fungal partners, with many impacts on plant health (van der Heijden et al., 2015). Much like this mutualistic interaction, delegates from disparate disciplines united with a strong focus on integration and sharing of resources for mutual benefit. By exchanging knowledge among researchers from the fields of molecular biology, physiology and ecology, the participants of ICOM9 made a leap forward in our understanding of symbiotic structure and function at multiple scales (Fig. 1).
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Independent signalling cues underpin arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis and large lateral root induction in rice

Perception of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) triggers distinct plant signalling responses for parallel establishment of symbiosis and induction of lateral root formation. Rice receptor kinase CHITIN ELICITOR RECEPTOR KINASE 1 (CERK1) and α/β-fold hydrolase DWARF14-LIKE (D14L) are involved in pre-symbiotic fungal perception. After 6 wk post-inoculation with Rhizophagus irregularis, root developmental responses, fungal colonization and transcriptional responses were monitored in two independent cerk1 null mutants; a deletion mutant lacking D14L, and with D14L complemented as well as their respective wild-type cultivars (cv Nipponbare and Nihonmasari). Here we show that although essential for symbiosis, D14L is dispensable for AMF-induced root architectural modulation, which conversely relies on CERK1. Our results demonstrate uncoupling of symbiosis and the symbiotic root developmental signalling during pre-symbiosis with CERK1 required for AMF-induced root architectural changes.


Via Pierre-Marc Delaux
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« Une Grenouille vit un Bœuf qui lui sembla de belle taille… », ou comment (ne pas) moderniser les universités françaises

« Une Grenouille vit un Bœuf qui lui sembla de belle taille… », ou comment (ne pas) moderniser les universités françaises | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it
Alors que le débat fait rage dans le monde universitaire sur les regroupements d’établissements, une analyse sans concessions des classements et des effets de tailles… budgétaires, qu’ils impliquent.
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New Phytologist: Sugar flux and signaling in plant‐microbe interactions (2017)

New Phytologist: Sugar flux and signaling in plant‐microbe interactions (2017) | MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions | Scoop.it

Plant breeders have developed crop plants that are resistant to pests, but the continual evolution of pathogens creates the need to iteratively develop new control strategies. Molecular tools have allowed us to gain deep insights into disease responses, allowing for more efficient, rational engineering of crops that are more robust or resistant to a greater number of pathogen variants. Here we describe the roles in disease progress of SWEET and STP transporters, which are membrane proteins that mediate transport of sugars across the plasma membrane. We discuss how these transporters may enhance or restrict disease through controlling the level of nutrients provided to pathogens and if the transporters play a role in sugar signaling for disease resistance. This review indicates open questions that require further research and proposes the use of genome editing technologies for engineering disease resistance.


Via Ricardo Oliva, Kamoun Lab @ TSL, Kevin Garcia
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