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Expression Patterns of Defense-Related Genes in Different Types of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Development in Wild-Type and Mycorrhiza-Defective Mutant Tomato

October 2004 , Volume 17 , Number  10
Pages  1,103 - 1,113

Ling-Ling Gao , 1 Wolfgang Knogge , 2 Gabriele Delp , 3 F. Andrew Smith , 1 and Sally E. Smith 1

1Soil and Land Systems, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and 2Plant and Pest Science, School of Agriculture and Wine, Waite Campus, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, 5005, Australia; 3Department of Natural Sciences, Södertörns University College, S-14189 Huddinge, Sweden

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Accepted 23 June 2004.

The expression of defense-related genes was analyzed in the interactions of six arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi with the roots of wild-type tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) cv. 76R and of the near-isogenic mycorrhiza-defective mutant rmc. Depending on the fungal species, wild-type tomato forms both major morphological AM types, Arum and Paris. The mutant rmc blocks the penetration of the root surface or invasion of the root cortex by most species of AM fungi, but one fungus has been shown to develop normal mycorrhizas. In the wild-type tomato, accumulation of mRNA representing a number of defense-related genes was low in Arum-type interactions, consistent with findings for this AM morphotype in other plant species. In contrast, Paris-type colonization, particularly by members of the family Gigasporaceae, was accompanied by a substantial transient increase in expression of some defense-related genes. However, the extent of root colonization did not differ significantly in the two wild-type AM morpho-types, suggesting that accumulation of defense gene products per se does not limit mycorrhiza development. In the mutant, interactions in which the fungus failed to penetrate the root lacked significant accumulation of defense gene mRNAs. However, phenotypes in which the fungus penetrated epidermal or hypodermal cells were associated with an enhanced and more prolonged gene expression. These results are discussed in relation to the mechanisms that may underlie the specificity of the interactions between AM fungi and the rmc mutant.

Additional keywords: Arum- and Paris-type mycorrhizas, defense responses.

© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society