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Plant Physiol. 1995 May;108(1):7-15.

Partitioning of Intermediary Carbon Metabolism in Vesicular-Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Leek.

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  • 1United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19118 (Y.S.-H., P.E.P., D.D., S.F.O., L.W.D.).


Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are symbionts for a large variety of crop plants; however, the form in which they take up carbon from the host is not established. To trace the course of carbon metabolism, we have used nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy with [13C]glucose labeling in vivo and in extracts to examine leek (Allium porrum) roots colonized by Glomus etunicatum (and uncolonized controls) as well as germinating spores. These studies implicate glucose as a likely substrate for vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the symbiotic state. Root feeding of 0.6 mM 1-[13C]glucose labeled only the fungal metabolites trehalose and glycogen. The time course of this labeling was dependent on the status of the host. Incubation with 50 mM 1-[13C]glucose caused labeling of sucrose (in addition to fungal metabolites) with twice as much labeling in uncolonized plants. There was no detectable scrambling of the label from C1 glucose to the C6 position of glucose moieties in trehalose or glycogen. Labeling of mannitol C1,6 in the colonized root tissue was much less than in axenically germinating spores. Thus, carbohydrate metabolism of host and fungus are significantly altered in the symbiotic state.

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