Project description:Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis is a predominant relationship between plant and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. To idendify arbuscular mycorrhiza responsive miRNAs, small RNA libraries were constructed in tomato roots colonized with Rhizophagus irregularis and without Rhizophagus irregularis. We identify miRNAs in tomato roots and provide a new profile of tomato miRNAs. And we found that some miRNAs were responsive to arbuscular mycorrhiza by comparing miRNAs in treatment with that in control. Examination of arbuscular mycorrhiza responsive miRNAs in tomato through high-throughput small RNA sequencing of roots with Rhizophagus irregularis and that without Rhizophagus irregularis
Project description:Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis is a mutualistic interaction between most land plants and fungi of the glomeromycotina subphylum. The initiation, development and regulation of this symbiosis involve numerous signalling events between and within the symbiotic partners. Among other signals, phytohormones are known to play important roles at various stages of the interaction. During presymbiotic steps, plant roots exude strigolactones which stimulate fungal spore germination and hyphal branching, and promote the initiation of symbiosis. At later stages, different plant hormone classes can act as positive or negative regulators of the interaction. Although the fungus is known to reciprocally emit regulatory signals, its potential contribution to the phytohormonal pool has received little attention, and has so far only been addressed by indirect assays. In this study, using mass spectrometry, we analyzed phytohormones released into the medium by germinated spores of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Rhizophagus irregularis. We detected the presence of a cytokinin (isopentenyl adenosine) and an auxin (indole-acetic acid). In addition, we identified a gibberellin (gibberellin A4) in spore extracts. We also used gas chromatography to show that R. irregularis produces ethylene from methionine and the ?-keto ?-methylthio butyric acid pathway. These results highlight the possibility for AM fungi to use phytohormones to interact with their host plants, or to regulate their own development.
Project description:Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are root-inhabiting fungi that form mutualistic symbioses with their host plants. AMF symbiosis improves nutrient uptake and buffers the plant against a diversity of stresses. Rhizophagus irregularis is one of the most widespread AMF species in the world, and its application in agricultural systems for yield improvement has increased over the last years. Still, from the inoculum production perspective, a lack of consistency of inoculum quality is referred to, which partially may be due to a high genetic variability of the fungus. The alternative oxidase (AOX) is an enzyme of the alternative respiratory chain already described in different taxa, including various fungi, which decreases the damage caused by oxidative stress. Nevertheless, virtually nothing is known on the involvement of AMF AOX on symbiosis establishment, as well on the existence of AOX variability that could affect AMF effectiveness and consequently plant performance. Here, we report the isolation and characterisation of the AOX gene of R. irregularis (RiAOX), and show that it is highly expressed during early phases of the symbiosis with plant roots. Phylogenetic analysis clustered RiAOX sequence with ancient fungi, and multiple sequence alignment revealed the lack of several regulatory motifs which are present in plant AOX. The analysis of RiAOX polymorphisms in single spores of three different isolates showed a reduced variability in one spore relatively to a group of spores. A high number of polymorphisms occurred in introns; nevertheless, some putative amino acid changes resulting from non-synonymous variants were found, offering a basis for selective pressure to occur within the populations. Given the AOX relatedness with stress responses, differences in gene variants amongst R. irregularis isolates are likely to be related with its origin and environmental constraints and might have a potential impact on inoculum production.
Project description:Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are members of the phylum Glomeromycota, an early divergent fungal lineage that forms symbiotic associations with the large majority of land plants. These organisms are asexual obligate biotrophs, meaning that they cannot complete their life cycle in the absence of a suitable host. These fungi can exchange genetic information through hyphal fusions (i.e. anastomosis) with genetically compatible isolates belonging to the same species. The occurrence of transient mitochondrial length-heteroplasmy through anastomosis between geographically distant Rhizophagus irregularis isolates was previously demonstrated in single spores resulting from crossing experiments. However, (1) the persistence of this phenomenon in monosporal culture lines from crossed parental isolates, (2) its correlation with nuclear exchanges and (3) the potential mechanisms responsible for mitochondrial inheritance are still unknown. Using the AMF model organism R. irregularis, we tested whether the presence of a heteroplasmic state in progeny spores was linked to the occurrence of nuclear exchanges and whether the previously observed heteroplasmic state persisted in monosporal in vitro crossed-culture lines. We also investigated the presence of a putative mitochondrial segregation apparatus in Glomeromycota by identifying proteins similar to those found in other fungal groups.We observed the occurrence of biparental inheritance both for mitochondrial and nuclear markers tested in single spores obtained from crossed-isolates. However, only one parental mitochondrial DNA and nuclear genotype were recovered in each monosporal crossed-cultures, with an overrepresentation of certain mitochondrial haplotypes. These results strongly support the presence of a nuclear-independent mitochondrial segregation mechanism in R. irregularis. Furthermore, a nearly complete set of genes was identified with putative orthology to those found in other fungi and known to be associated with the mitochondrial segregation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and filamentous fungi.Our findings suggest that mitochondrial segregation might take place either during spore formation or colony development and that it might be independent of the nuclear segregation machinery. We present the basic building blocks for a better understanding of the mitochondrial inheritance process and segregation in these important symbiotic fungi. The comprehension of these processes is of great importance since it has been shown that different segregated lines of the same isolate can have variable effects on the host plant.
Project description:Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF; phylum Gomeromycota) associate with plants forming one of the most successful microbe-plant associations. The fungi promote plant diversity and have a potentially important role in global agriculture. Plant growth depends on both inter- and intra-specific variation in AMF. It was recently reported that an unusually large number of AMF taxa have an intercontinental distribution, suggesting long-distance gene flow for many AMF species, facilitated by either long-distance natural dispersal mechanisms or human-assisted dispersal. However, the intercontinental distribution of AMF species has been questioned because the use of very low-resolution markers may be unsuitable to detect genetic differences among geographically separated AMF, as seen with some other fungi. This has been untestable because of the lack of population genomic data, with high resolution, for any AMF taxa. Here we use phylogenetics and population genomics to test for intra-specific variation in Rhizophagus irregularis, an AMF species for which genome sequence information already exists. We used ddRAD sequencing to obtain thousands of markers distributed across the genomes of 81?R. irregularis isolates and related species. Based on 6 888 variable positions, we observed significant genetic divergence into four main genetic groups within R. irregularis, highlighting that previous studies have not captured underlying genetic variation. Despite considerable genetic divergence, surprisingly, the variation could not be explained by geographical origin, thus also supporting the hypothesis for at least one AMF species of widely dispersed AMF genotypes at an intercontinental scale. Such information is crucial for understanding AMF ecology, and how these fungi can be used in an environmentally safe way in distant locations.
Project description:One of the bottlenecks in mycorrhiza research is that arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) have to be cultivated with host plant roots. Some AMF species, such as Rhizophagus irregularis, can be grown in vitro on dual-compartment plates, where fungal material can be harvested from a fungus-only compartment. Plant roots often grow into this fungus compartment, and regular root trimming is required if the fungal material needs to be free of traces of plant material. Trimming also increases unwanted contamination by other microorganisms. We compared 22 different culture types and conditions to a widely used dual-compartment culture system that we refer to as the "standard system." We found two modified culture systems that allowed high spore production and low rates of contamination. We then compared the two modified culture systems with the standard system in more detail. In the two modified culture systems versus the standard system, a comparable number of spores were produced per plate, the necessity for root trimming was reduced, and there was significantly diminished contamination in the fungal compartment. A cost analysis showed that both modified culture systems were more economic than the standard culture system for the production of the same number of non-contaminated spores. The two modified culture systems provide an economic alternative for the production of contaminant-free fungal material which is ideal for studies requiring AMF DNA or RNA for genetics, genomics, and transcriptomic studies or for studies requiring relatively large amounts of fungal material for greenhouse experiments.
Project description:Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF) species are some of the most widespread symbionts of land plants. Our much improved reference genome assembly of a model AMF, Rhizophagus irregularis DAOM-181602 (total contigs = 210), facilitated a discovery of repetitive elements with unusual characteristics. R. irregularis has only ten or 11 copies of complete 45S rDNAs, whereas the general eukaryotic genome has tens to thousands of rDNA copies. R. irregularis rDNAs are highly heterogeneous and lack a tandem repeat structure. These findings provide evidence for the hypothesis that rDNA heterogeneity depends on the lack of tandem repeat structures. RNA-Seq analysis confirmed that all rDNA variants are actively transcribed. Observed rDNA/rRNA polymorphisms may modulate translation by using different ribosomes depending on biotic and abiotic interactions. The non-tandem repeat structure and intragenomic heterogeneity of AMF rDNA/rRNA may facilitate successful adaptation to various environmental conditions, increasing host compatibility of these symbiotic fungi.
Project description:Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) belong to Glomeromycotina, and are mutualistic symbionts of many land plants. Associated bacteria accompany AMF during their lifecycle to establish a robust tripartite association consisting of fungi, plants and bacteria. Physical association among this trinity provides possibilities for the exchange of genetic materials. However, very few horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from bacteria or plants to AMF has been reported yet. In this study, we complement existing algorithms by developing a new pipeline, Blast2hgt, to efficiently screen for putative horizontally derived genes from a whole genome. Genome analyses of the glomeromycete Rhizophagus irregularis identified 19 fungal genes that had been transferred between fungi and bacteria/plants, of which seven were obtained from bacteria. Another 18 R. irregularis genes were found to be recently acquired from either plants or bacteria. In the R. irregularis genome, gene duplication has contributed to the expansion of three foreign genes. Importantly, more than half of the R. irregularis foreign genes were expressed in various transcriptomic experiments, suggesting that these genes are functional in R. irregularis. Functional annotation and available evidence showed that these acquired genes may participate in diverse but fundamental biological processes such as regulation of gene expression, mitosis and signal transduction. Our study suggests that horizontal gene influx through endosymbiosis is a source of new functions for R. irregularis, and HGT might have played a role in the evolution and symbiotic adaptation of this arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus.
Project description:Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important symbionts of plants. Recently, studies of the AMF Rhizophagus irregularis recorded within-isolate genetic variation that does not completely match the proposed homokaryon or heterokaryon state (where heterokaryons comprise a population of two distinct nucleus genotypes). We re-analysed published data showing that bi-allelic sites (and their frequencies), detected in proposed homo- and heterokaryote R. irregularis isolates, were similar across independent studies using different techniques. This indicated that observed within-fungus genetic variation was not an artefact of sequencing and that such within- fungus genetic variation possibly exists. We then looked to see if bi-allelic transcripts from three R. irregularis isolates matched those observed in the genome as this would give a strong indication of whether bi-allelic sites recorded in the genome were reliable variants. In putative homokaryon isolates, very few bi-allelic transcripts matched those in the genome. In a putative heterokaryon, a large number of bi-allelic transcripts matched those in the genome. Bi-allelic transcripts also occurred in the same frequency in the putative heterokaryon as predicted from allele frequency in the genome. Our results indicate that while within-fungus genome variation in putative homokaryon and heterokaryon AMF was highly similar in 2 independent studies, there was little support that this variation is transcribed in homokaryons. In contrast, within-fungus variation thought to be segregated among two nucleus genotypes in a heterokaryon isolate was indeed transcribed in a way that is proportional to that seen in the genome.