Editors' ChoicePlant Science

Signaling Between Symbiotic Partners

Science's STKE  16 Oct 2007:
Vol. 2007, Issue 408, pp. tw380
DOI: 10.1126/stke.4082007tw380

Plants and certain fungi of the soil work together in a symbiotic mycorrhizal relationship that involves 80% of land plant species. Drissner et al. have now identified a molecular signal that mediates the relationships between these large and small partners. Using the gene that encodes an orthophosphate transporter known to be engaged in symbiotic transactions, the authors found that phospholipid extracts from plant-fungal symbioses could activate transcription of the target gene from potato. Further studies with cultured tomato cells and mass spectrometry indicated the key signaling compound to be lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC).

D. Drissner, G. Kunze, N. Callewaert, P. Gehrig, M. Tamasloukht, T. Boller, G. Felix, N. Amrhein, M. Bucher, Lyso-phosphatidylcholine is a signal in the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis. Science 318, 265-268 (2007). [Abstract] [Full Text]