, Volume 244, Issue 1-2, pp 117-128

Fungal gene expression in early symbiotic interactions between Laccaria bicolor and red pine

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Ectomycorrhizas are mutualistic symbiotic organs formed by interaction between plant roots and fungi. Mycorrhizal initiation, development and functional maintenance involve morphological changes that are mediated by activation and suppression of several fungal and plant genes. During the pre-infection stage, a harmonized cross-talk takes place between the symbionts, to determine their compatibility. Upon mutual recognition, the symbionts initiate further physiological and morphological changes essential for the formation of the symbiotic organ. In order to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying these events, we developed an interaction-specific cDNA library from Laccaria bicolor that represents fungal genes regulated by its interaction with Pinus resinosa roots. Membrane array analyses of these cDNAs suggested that a wide variety of genes are involved in the pre-infection stage processes.