Ethylene signalling and ethylene-targeted transcription factors are required to balance beneficial and nonbeneficial traits in the symbiosis between the endophytic fungus Piriformospora indica and Arabidopsis thaliana

Iris Camehl, Irena Sherameti, Yvonne Venus, Gerit Bethke, Ajit Varma, Justin Lee, Ralf Oelmüller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations

Abstract

The endophytic fungus Piriformospora indica colonizes the roots of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and promotes its growth and seed production. The fungus can be cultivated in axenic culture without a host, and therefore this is an excellent system to investigate plant-fungus symbiosis. The growth of etr1, ein2 and ein3/eil1 mutant plants was not promoted or even inhibited by the fungus; the plants produced less seeds and the roots were more colonized compared with the wild-type. This correlates with a mild activation of defence responses. The overexpression of ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR1 constitutively activated defence responses, strongly reduced root colonization and abolished the benefits for the plants. Piriformospora indica-mediated stimulation of growth and seed yield was not affected by jasmonic acid, and jasmonic acid-responsive promoter β-glucuronidase gene constructs did not respond to the fungus in Arabidopsis roots. We propose that ethylene signalling components and ethylene-targeted transcription factors are required to balance beneficial and nonbeneficial traits in the symbiosis. The results show that the restriction of fungal growth by ethylene signalling components is required for the beneficial interaction between the two symbionts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1062-1073
Number of pages12
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume185
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2010

Keywords

  • EIN2
  • EIN3/EIL1
  • ERF1
  • ETR1
  • Ethylene
  • Jasmonic acid
  • Piriformospora indica
  • Plant-microbe interaction

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