, Volume 222, Issue 4, pp 688-698
Date: 25 Aug 2005

Cereal phosphate transporters associated with the mycorrhizal pathway of phosphate uptake into roots

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A very large number of plant species are capable of forming symbiotic associations with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. The roots of these plants are potentially capable of absorbing P from the soil solution both directly through root epidermis and root hairs, and via the AM fungal pathway that delivers P to the root cortex. A large number of phosphate (P) transporters have been identified in plants; tissue expression patterns and kinetic information supports the roles of some of these in the direct root uptake pathways. Recent work has identified additional P transporters in several unrelated species that are strongly induced, sometimes specifically, in AM roots. The primary aim of the work described in this paper was to determine how mycorrhizal colonisation by different species of AM fungi influenced the expression of members of the Pht1 gene families in the cereals Hordeum vulgare (barley), Triticum aestivum (wheat) and Zea mays (maize). RT-PCR and in-situ hybridisation, showed that the transporters HORvu;Pht1;8 (AY187023), TRIae;Pht1;myc (AJ830009) and ZEAma;Pht1;6 (AJ830010), had increased expression in roots colonised by the AM fungi Glomus intraradices,Glomus sp. WFVAM23 and Scutellospora calospora. These findings add to the increasing body of evidence indicating that plants that form AM associations with members of the Glomeromycota have evolved phosphate transporters that are either specifically or preferentially involved in scavenging phosphate from the apoplast between intracellular AM structures and root cortical cells. Operation of mycorrhiza-inducible P transporters in the AM P uptake pathway appears, at least partially, to replace uptake via different P transporters located in root epidermis and root hairs.