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Plant Physiol. 2007 Apr;143(4):1827-40.

Regulation of arbuscular mycorrhization by carbon. The symbiotic interaction cannot be improved by increased carbon availability accomplished by root-specifically enhanced invertase activity.

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  • 1Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie, D-06120 Halle (Saale), Germany.

Erratum in

  • Plant Physiol. 2007 Jun;144(2):1233.


The mutualistic interaction in arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) is characterized by an exchange of mineral nutrients and carbon. The major benefit of AM, which is the supply of phosphate to the plant, and the stimulation of mycorrhization by low phosphate fertilization has been well studied. However, less is known about the regulatory function of carbon availability on AM formation. Here the effect of enhanced levels of hexoses in the root, the main form of carbohydrate used by the fungus, on AM formation was analyzed. Modulation of the root carbohydrate status was performed by expressing genes encoding a yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae)-derived invertase, which was directed to different subcellular locations. Using tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) alcc::wINV plants, the yeast invertase was induced in the whole root system or in root parts. Despite increased hexose levels in these roots, we did not detect any effect on the colonization with Glomus intraradices analyzed by assessment of fungal structures and the level of fungus-specific palmitvaccenic acid, indicative for the fungal carbon supply, or the plant phosphate content. Roots of Medicago truncatula, transformed to express genes encoding an apoplast-, cytosol-, or vacuolar-located yeast-derived invertase, had increased hexose-to-sucrose ratios compared to beta-glucuronidase-transformed roots. However, transformations with the invertase genes did not affect mycorrhization. These data suggest the carbohydrate supply in AM cannot be improved by root-specifically increased hexose levels, implying that under normal conditions sufficient carbon is available in mycorrhizal roots. In contrast, tobacco rolC::ppa plants with defective phloem loading and tobacco pyk10::InvInh plants with decreased acid invertase activity in roots exhibited a diminished mycorrhization.

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