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Plant Signal Behav. 2012 Jun;7(6):636-41. doi: 10.4161/psb.20039. Epub 2012 May 14.

The role of flavonoids in the establishment of plant roots endosymbioses with arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi, rhizobia and Frankia bacteria.

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Equipe Rhizogenèse, UMR DIADE (IRD, UM2), Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Montpellier, France.


Flavonoids are a group of secondary metabolites derived from the phenylpropanoid pathway. They are ubiquitous in the plant kingdom and have many diverse functions including key roles at different levels of root endosymbioses. While there is a lot of information on the role of particular flavonoids in the Rhizobium-legume symbiosis, yet their exact role during the establishment of arbuscular mycorrhiza and actinorhizal symbioses still remains unclear. Within the context of the latest data suggesting a common symbiotic signaling pathway for both plant-fungal and plant bacterial endosymbioses between legumes and actinorhiza-forming fagales, this mini-review highlights some of the recent studies on the three major types of root endosymbioses. Implication of the molecular knowledge of endosymbioses signaling and genetic manipulation of flavonoid biosynthetic pathway on the development of strategies for the transfer and optimization of nodulation are also discussed.

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