, Volume 244, Issue 1-2, pp 189-197

Tracking metabolism and imaging transport in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Metabolism and transport in AM fungi

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In the last few years the application of modern techniques to the study of arbuscular mycorrhizas has greatly increased our understanding of the mechanisms underlying carbon metabolism in these mutualistic symbioses. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) monoxenic cultures, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy together with isotopic labeling, and analyses of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) have shed light on the metabolic processes taking place in these interactions, particularly in the case of the mycobiont. More recently, in vivo multiphoton microscopy has provided us with some new insights in the allocation and translocation processes which play crucial roles in the distribution of host plant-derived C throughout the fungal colony. In this mini-review we highlight recent advances in these fields, with special attention to the visualization of oleosomes (i.e., lipid bodies) as they move along the long, coenocytic AM fungal hyphae. Volumetric measurements of such oleosomes have allowed us to estimate the flux of triacylglycerides from the intraradical to the extraradical phase of the AM fungal colony. We raise questions and postulate regulatory mechanisms for C metabolism and translocation within the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal colony.