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Curr Biol. 2015 Aug 17;25(16):2189-95. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.06.075. Epub 2015 Jul 30.

EXO70I Is Required for Development of a Sub-domain of the Periarbuscular Membrane during Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis.

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Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, 533 Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, 533 Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA; Department of Plant Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, 533 Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA. Electronic address:


In eukaryotic cells, polarized secretion mediated by exocytotic fusion of membrane vesicles with the plasma membrane is essential for spatially restricted expansion of the plasma membrane and for the delivery of molecules to specific locations at the membrane and/or cell surface. The EXOCYST complex is central to this process, and in yeast, regulation of the EXO70 subunit influences exocytosis and cargo specificity. In contrast to yeast and mammalian cells, plants have upwards of 23 EXO70 genes with largely unknown roles. During arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis, deposition of the plant periarbuscular membrane (PAM) around the fungal arbuscule creates an intracellular membrane interface between the symbionts. The PAM has two major membrane sub-domains, and symbiosis-specific transporter proteins are localized in the branch domain. Currently, the mechanisms and cellular machinery involved in biogenesis of the PAM are largely unknown. Here, we identify an EXO70I protein present exclusively in plants forming AM symbiosis. Medicago truncatula exo70i mutants are unable to support normal arbuscule development, and incorporation of two PAM-resident ABC transporters, STR and STR2, is limited. During arbuscule branching, EXO70I is located in spatially restricted zones adjacent to the PAM around the arbuscule hyphal tips where it interacts with Vapyrin, a plant-specific protein required for arbuscule development. We conclude that EXO70I provides a specific exocytotic capacity necessary for development of the main functional sub-domain of the PAM. Furthermore, in contrast to other eukaryotes, plant EXO70s have evolved distinct specificities and interaction partners to fulfill their specialized secretory requirements.

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