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The Role of Auxins and Cytokinins in the Mutualistic Interaction Between Arabidopsis and Piriformospora indica

October 2008 , Volume 21 , Number  10
Pages  1,371 - 1,383

Jyothilakshmi Vadassery,1 Claudia Ritter,1 Yvonne Venus,1 Iris Camehl,1 Ajit Varma,2 Bationa Shahollari,1 Ondrej Novák,3 Miroslav Strnad,3 Jutta Ludwig-Müller,4 and Ralf Oelmüller1

1Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Institut für Allgemeine Botanik und Pflanzenphysiologie, Dornburger Str. 159, 07743 Jena, Germany; 2Amity Institute of Herbal and Microbial Studies, Sector 125, Noida 201303, UP, India; 3Laboratory of Growth Regulators, Palacky University & Institute of Experimental Botany AS CR, Slechtitelu 11, 783 71 Olomouc, Czech Republic; 4Institut für Botanik, Technische Universität Dresden, Zellescher Weg 20b, 01062 Dresden, Germany

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Accepted 8 July 2008.

Arabidopsis growth and reproduction are stimulated by the endophytic fungus Piriformospora indica. The fungus produces low amounts of auxins, but the auxin levels and the expression of auxin-regulated genes are not altered in colonized roots. Also, mutants with reduced auxin levels (ilr1-1, nit1-3, tfl2, cyp79 b2b3) respond to P. indica. However, the fungus rescues the dwarf phenotype of the auxin overproducer sur1-1 by converting free auxin into conjugates, which also results in the downregulation of the auxin-induced IAA6 and the upregulation of the P. indica--induced LRR1 gene. The fungus produces relatively high levels of cytokinins, and the cytokinin levels are higher in colonized roots compared with the uncolonized controls. trans-Zeatin cytokinin biosynthesis and the CRE1/AHK2 receptor combination are crucial for P. indica--mediated growth stimulation, while mutants lacking cis-zeatin, impaired in other cytokinin receptor combinations, or containing reduced cytokinin levels respond to the fungus. Since root colonization is not affected in the cytokinin mutants, we propose that cytokinins are required for P. indica--induced growth promotion. Finally, a comparative analysis of the phytohormone mutants allows the conclusion that the response to P. indica is independent of the architecture and size of the roots.

Additional keywords:plant-microbe interaction, Sebacinaceae.

© 2008 The American Phytopathological Society