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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2007 Jun;71(6):1405-14.

Chemical identification and functional analysis of apocarotenoids involved in the development of arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis.

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Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University, Osaka, Japan.


Arbuscular mycorrhizae formed between more than 80% of land plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi represent the most widespread symbiosis on the earth. AM fungi facilitate the uptake of soil nutrients, especially phosphate, by plants, and in return obtain carbohydrates from hosts. Apocarotenoids, oxidative cleavage products of carotenoids, have been found to play a critical role in the establishment of AM symbiosis. Strigolactones previously isolated as seed-germination stimulants for root parasitic weeds act as a chemical signal for AM fungi during presymbiotic stages. Stimulation of carotenoid metabolism, leading to massive accumulation of mycorradicin and cyclohexenone derivatives, occurs during root colonization by AM fungi. This review highlights research into the chemical identification of arbuscular mycorrhiza-related apocarotenoids and their role in the regulation and establishment of AM symbiosis conducted in the past 10 years.

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