Something old, something new: Auxin and strigolactone interact in the ancient mycorrhizal symbiosis

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Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis, formed between more than 80% of land plants and fungi from the phylum Glomeromycota, is an ancient association that is believed to have evolved as plants moved onto land more than 400 mya. ( 1) (,) ( 2) Similarly ancient, the plant hormones auxin and strigolactone are thought to have been present in the plant lineage since before the divergence of the bryophytes in the case of auxin and before the colonisation of land in the case of strigolactones. ( 3) (,) ( 4) The discovery of auxin in the 1930s predates the discovery of strigolactones as a plant hormone in 2008 by over 70 y. ( 5) (-) ( 7) Recent studies in pea suggest that these two signals may interact to regulate mycorrhizal symbiosis. ( 8) Furthermore, the first quantitative studies are presented that show that low auxin content of the root is correlated with low strigolactone production, ( 8) an interaction that has implications for how these plant hormones regulate several developmental programs including shoot branching, secondary growth and root development. ( 9) (-) ( 12) With recent advances in our understanding of auxin and strigolactone biosynthesis, ( 13) (,) ( 14) together with the discovery of the fungal signals that activate the plant host, ( 15) the stage is set for real breakthroughs in our understanding of the interactions between plant and fungal signals in mycorrhizal symbiosis.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis
  • Auxin
  • Pea
  • Strigolactones

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  • Eloise Foo

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