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Plant Cell Physiol. 2000 Jun;41(6):726-32.

Isolation of two different phenotypes of mycorrhizal mutants in the model legume plant Lotus japonicus after EMS-treatment.

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  • 1Faculty of Bioresources, Mie University, Tsu, Japan.


Lotus japonicus has been proposed as a model plant for the molecular genetic study of plant-microbe interaction including Mesorhizobium loti and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Non-mycorrhizal mutants of Lotus japonicus were screened from a collection of 12 mutants showing non-nodulating (Nod-), ineffectively nodulating (Fix-) and hypernodulating (Nod++) phenotypes with monogenic recessive inheritance induced by EMS (ethylmethane sulfonate) mutagenesis. Three mycorrhizal mutant lines showing highly reduced arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization were obtained. All of them were derived from Nod- phenotypes. In Ljsym72, the root colonization by Glomus sp. R-10 is characterized by poor development of the external mycelium, formation of extremely branched appressoria, and the blocking of hyphal penetration at the root epidermis. Neither arbuscules nor vesicles were formed in Ljsym72 roots. Fungal recognition on the root surface was strongly affected by the mutation in the LjSym72 gene. Unique characteristics in mutant lines Ljsym71-1 and Ljsym71-2 were the overproduction of deformed appressoria and arrested hyphal penetration of the exodermis. Small amounts of internal colonization including degenerated arbuscule formation occurred infrequently in these types of mutants. Not only fungal development on the root surface but also that in the root exodermis and cortex was affected by the mutation in LjSym71 gene. These mutants represent a key advance in molecular research on the AM symbiosis.

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