Rice perception of symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi requires the karrikin receptor complex

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Science  18 Dec 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6267, pp. 1521-1524
DOI: 10.1126/science.aac9715

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Early stages of a beneficial relationship

Plants benefit from widespread symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. This symbiosis between plant and fungus aids plants in capturing mineral and micronutrients from the soil. Gutjahr et al. have now identified a component of an intracellular receptor, the hydrolase DWARF 14 LIKE, required in rice roots for initiating the symbiosis. A similar receptor detects karrikins in smoke that signal opportunity for fireweed to grow after a forest fire.

Science, this issue p. 1521


In terrestrial ecosystems, plants take up phosphate predominantly via association with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). We identified loss of responsiveness to AMF in the rice (Oryza sativa) mutant hebiba, reflected by the absence of physical contact and of characteristic transcriptional responses to fungal signals. Among the 26 genes deleted in hebiba, DWARF 14 LIKE is, the one responsible for loss of symbiosis . It encodes an alpha/beta-fold hydrolase, that is a component of an intracellular receptor complex involved in the detection of the smoke compound karrikin. Our finding reveals an unexpected plant recognition strategy for AMF and a previously unknown signaling link between symbiosis and plant development.

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