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Plant Physiol. 2008 Sep;148(1):402-13. doi: 10.1104/pp.108.121400. Epub 2008 Jul 9.

GR24, a synthetic analog of strigolactones, stimulates the mitosis and growth of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Gigaspora rosea by boosting its energy metabolism.

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  • 1Plant Cell Surfaces and Signaling Laboratory, UMR5546 CNRS/University of Toulouse, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France.


Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are obligate biotrophs that participate in a highly beneficial root symbiosis with 80% of land plants. Strigolactones are trace molecules in plant root exudates that are perceived by AM fungi at subnanomolar concentrations. Within just a few hours, they were shown to stimulate fungal mitochondria, spore germination, and branching of germinating hyphae. In this study we show that treatment of Gigaspora rosea with a strigolactone analog (GR24) causes a rapid increase in the NADH concentration, the NADH dehydrogenase activity, and the ATP content of the fungal cell. This fully and rapidly (within minutes) activated oxidative metabolism does not require new gene expression. Up-regulation of the genes involved in mitochondrial metabolism and hyphal growth, and stimulation of the fungal mitotic activity, take place several days after this initial boost to the cellular energy of the fungus. Such a rapid and powerful action of GR24 on G. rosea cells suggests that strigolactones are important plant signals involved in switching AM fungi toward full germination and a presymbiotic state.

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