Nutrient transport in the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis : the regulation of nutrient transporters in Rhizophagus irregularis and its host plants populus trichocarpa and sorghum bicolor

Calabrese, Silvia. Nutrient transport in the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis : the regulation of nutrient transporters in Rhizophagus irregularis and its host plants populus trichocarpa and sorghum bicolor. 2016, Doctoral Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Science.


Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/diss/DissB_11847

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In natural and agricultural ecosystems, arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi play a major role in plant nutrition. In AM symbiosis, the AM fungi extract mineral nutrients from the substrate and transfer them to the host plant. Inside the roots of the host plant, the intraradical hyphae form tree like structures (arbuscules) where the nutrients are released to the plant fungal interface. In return, the AM fungi receive carbohydrates from the plants. Specialized transport systems enable nutrient uptake from the substrate and translocation across membranes. As main components of organic molecules, phosphorus (P), nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) are of particular importance for symbiotic nutrient exchanges. This work is focused on a range of genes that encode proteins contributing to transport molecules (P, N and C nutrients) across cellular membranes in the plants Populus trichocarpa (poplar) and Sorghum bicolor (sorghum), and in the AM fungus Rhizophagus irregularis.
In the AM fungus R. irregularis (formerly Glomus intraradices), we identified and characterized a novel functional ammonium transporter (AMT), GintAMT3. Quantification of transcript abundances in the extraradical mycelium (ERM) and the intraradical mycelium (IRM) during symbiosis with poplar and sorghum revealed that GintAMT3 was highly expressed in the IRM of AM roots. Phylogenetic analysis showed further, that the six glomeromycotan AMTs share high sequence similarity, but are distinct to AMTs of other fungal phyla. To functionaly analyze GintAMT3, we expressed GintAMT3 in a yeast deletion mutant devoid of all AMTs. The heterologous expression revealed that GintAMT3 is a low affinity transporter. Heterologous expression of GFP tagged GintAMT3 in yeast showed that GintAMT3 is localized in the plasma membrane and the vacuolar membrane. Further, we could show that expression of GinAMT3 is dependent on the N nutrition status and the fungal C status. Taken together, our data suggested that GintAMT3 is the main export carrier for ammonium at the arbuscular site.
Using mRNA sequencing, we could show that low N availability significantly increased gene expression of the AM fungus, including genes involved in cell growth and membrane biogenesis as well as genes involved in signaling and metabolic processes. High abundances of genes related to N metabolism, including glutamine synthase, aminotransferase, AMTs as well as arginases, indicated a high turnover rate of N in the symbiotic root tissue. Depending on P availability, gene expression of AM phosphate transporters (PT) and AMT changed. Induction of PT and AMT under low-P availability indicated that the AM fungus transfers more nutrients to the host plant.
Further, we identified amino acids transporters and H+/oligopeptide transporters specifically induced in mycorrhizal poplar roots, indicating that amino acids are transferred between the AM fungus and the plant.
In poplar, we found that root colonization and low-N conditions resulted in the down-regulation of defense gene expression, suggesting that the plant stimulated symbiotic interactions with the AM fungus. We showed that root colonization specifically induced expression of known and newly identified PT and AMT in poplar and sorghum. Specific induction of nutrient transporters upon starvation strongly indicated that they are essential components of a functional symbiosis and suggested they are located in AM roots. Furthermore, root colonization suppressed the expression of genes involved in P starvation response, indicating that root colonization efficiently alleviated P stress of the plant. Moreover, we could show that the annual sorghum is more dependent on the AM fungus than the perennial poplar, but also that more P and possibly also more N is transferred from the AM fungus to the host plant. Non-mycorrhized sorghum accumulated similar quantities of P as AM sorghum under conditions, in which only the AM fungus had access to the P source. Poplar on the other hand accumulated less P in AM plants. In addition, we observed that a subset of poplar Pht1 transporters was regulated independently on the AM fungus, but depending on the P availability of the substrate.
To deepen our understanding about symbiotic C exchange, we made transcriptome analysis and qRT-PCR to investigate the role of carbohydrate transporters in AM symbiosis between R. irregularis and, poplar and sorghum, respectively. In R. irregularis, the monosaccharide transporter GintMST2 was specifically induced in the IRM independently on the nutrient condition. Interestingly, we observed the down-regulation of many carbohydrate transporters in AM roots of poplar and sorghum. However, in poplar, we identified one carbohydrate transporter, which might be involved in symbiotic C transfer. In conclusion, our data on C transport suggested that carbohydrates are taken from the plant by the AM fungus instead of actively transferred to the fungus by the host plant.
Taken together, the data summarized in my thesis add to our understanding of nutrient transport in AM symbiosis under different environmental conditions and help elucidating the underlying mechanisms. Regarding climate changes and resources shortening, a precise understanding of the efficiency of AM symbiosis may help to increase the efficiency of sustainable agriculture.
Advisors:Boller, Thomas and Courty, Pierre-Emanuel and Wipf, Daniel
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Pflanzenphysiologie Pathogenabwehr (Boller)
UniBasel Contributors:Calabrese, Silvia and Boller, Thomas
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Doctoral Thesis
Thesis no:11847
Thesis status:Complete
Number of Pages:1 Online-Ressource (IX, 219 Seiten)
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Last Modified:08 Feb 2020 14:21
Deposited On:10 Oct 2016 08:55

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