Plants and fungi--growing together
Peterson, Larry .
Mycorrhizas: structural characteristics of the plant-fungus interface.
Roots of most vascular plants are associated with fungal symbionts, forming mycorrhizas. Mycorrhizas are categorized primarily on the interaction between the plant group and particular fungal species, resulting in characteristic changes in the morphology and cytology of both symbionts. A critical development in all mycorrhiza categories is the nutrient-exchange interface between the symbiotic partners. With the exception of ectomycorrhizas, in which fungal hyphae occupy the apoplast external to epidermal and cortical cell walls, the other mycorrhiza categories involve the penetration of plant cell walls by fungal hyphae and the formation of highly modified fungal structures. However, in all of the latter cases studied to date, hyphae are separated from the plant cell cytoplasm by host-derived membrane (perifungal membrane) and a host-derived interfacial matrix consisting of molecules found in primary walls of plant cells. This matrix, which varies in composition depending on the mycorrhiza category, is deposited between the perifungal membrane and the hyphal wall forming an apoplastic compartment. The formation of the perifungal membrane and the deposition of matrix components into the apoplastic compartment likely involve the host cytoskeleton. Regardless of the structural nature of the nutrient-exchange interface, nutrients must pass into the symplast of both partners at some point. Therefore, there is considerable interest in determining the modifications in host and fungal cell walls during the colonization process and in identifying the membrane transporters involved.
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1 - University of Guelph, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
Time: 1:45 PM