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Plant Signal Behav. 2009 Jul;4(7):669-71. Epub 2009 Jul 18.

Phytohormones in plant root-Piriformospora indica mutualism.

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Research Centre for Biosystems, Land Use and Nutrition, Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany.


Piriformospora indica is a mutualistic root-colonising basidiomycete that tranfers various benefits to colonized host plants including growth promotion, yield increases as well as abiotic and biotic stress tolerance. The fungus is characterized by a broad host spectrum encompassing various monocots and dicots. Our recent microarray-based studies indicate a general plant defense suppression by P. indica and significant changes in the GA biosynthesis pathway. Furthermore, barley plants impaired in GA synthesis and perception showed a significant reduction in mutualistic colonization, which was associated with an elevated expression of defense-related genes. Here, we discuss the importance of plant hormones for compatibility in plant root-P. indica associations. Our data might provide a first explanation for the colonization success of the fungus in a wide range of higher plants.

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