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Phytochemistry. 2007 Jan;68(1):41-51. Epub 2006 Nov 2.

Nitrogen transport in the ectomycorrhiza association: the Hebeloma cylindrosporum-Pinus pinaster model.

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University Bonn, IZMB, Transport in Ectomycorrhiza, Kirschallee 1, 53115 Bonn, Germany.


The function of the ectomycorrhizal mutualism depends on the ability of the fungal symbionts to take up nutrients (particularly nitrogen) available in inorganic and/or organic form in the soil and to translocate them (or their metabolites) to the symbiotic roots. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying nutrient exchanges between fungus and plant at the symbiotic interface is necessary to fully understand the function of the mycorrhizal symbioses. The present review reports the characterization of several genes putatively involved in nitrogen uptake and transfer in the Hebeloma cylindrosporum-Pinus pinaster ectomycorrhizal association. Study of this model system will further clarify the symbiotic nutrient exchange which plays a major role in plant nutrition as well as in resistance of plants against pathogens, heavy metals, drought stress, etc. Ultimately, ecological balance is maintained and/or improved with the help of symbiotic associations, and therefore, warrant further understanding.

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