For a mushroom, the right “accessories” can create or destroy a relationship with a plant – archyde

Plants interact with a large number of organisms in the course of their life, but very similar microbes can also cause opposing reactions. Two stems of the mushroom Fusarium oxysporum (Fo) share a nuclear genome, but one is a beneficial endophyte while the other is a noxious pathogen that causes wilting and death. A new study published in Plant-Microbial Molecular Interactions Journal, tried to find out why these two strains produce such opposing reactions and, in general, how plants react differently to beneficial and harmful microbes by studying the interaction of these two strains with the model plant Arabidopsis.

As senior author Li-Jun Ma explains, “Strain-specific interactions with a common host are likely to be dictated by each of the accessory chromosomes” F. oxysporum Genome. ” Extra chromosomes are extra pieces of genetic material that are believed to be more plastic because, unlike the nuclear genome, they move and change based on the fungus’s lifestyle – the Fo strains contain tools used to infiltrate the plant and shut down the immune system . The use of closely related strains that differ in the accessory chromosomes enables one Comparative study that minimizes genetic differences between strains to address the underlying mechanism that leads to different phenotypes (growth promotion or disease or even death), ”says lead author Li Guo.

In this study, metatranscriptomic data show that most Plant genes (approx. 80%) are expressed in a similar way in response to both fungal strains over a period of four days. The most obvious differences in the plant reaction appear after just twelve hours. Co-first author Houlin Yu states that “It’s important to realize that plants can react quickly to signals of microbial presence by displaying their Gene expression. ” For example, plant defense-related genes are induced by both the endophytic and pathogenic strains, but the endophyte is better able to suppress these genes. Pathogen was present, whereas nitrogen uptake and metabolic genes were increased (upregulated) in expression, if the endophyte was present.

Many changes in gene expression in the fungi were also observed on the accessory chromosomes Tribes. The endophytic strain upregulated genes attached to Cell signaling and nutrient transport, while unsurprisingly the pathogenic strain upregulates those fortified for virulence or detoxification functions. Identifying the fungal genes with changes in expression on the accessory chromosomes that correspond to the ultimate plant health outcome tells researchers what further research they need to do to increase disease resistance and promote plant growth. Ma points out, “This research has had a profound impact on plant and perhaps even animal immunology, suggesting that cells exhibit remarkable flexibility and plasticity in response to microbes of the same species but genetically different.”


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More information:

Li Guo et al., Metatranscriptomic Comparison of Endophytic and Pathogenic Fusarium-Arabidopsis Interactions Shows Transcriptional Plasticity of Plants, Plant-Microbial Molecular Interactions (2021). DOI: 10.1094/MPMI-03-21-0063-R

Provided by the American Phytopathological Society

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