U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Fungal Protein Allows Beneficial Colonization in Populus
Published: May 20, 2014
Posted: September 22, 2014

The soil environment surrounding plant roots is filled with bacteria and fungi, both harmful and beneficial, many of which attempt to colonize root tissues to gain access to and use plant nutrients. In response, plant hormones such as jasmonic acid (JA) mediate the plant’s defense signaling system. By altering this pathway, some microorganisms can gain entry into the plant root cells and promote colonization. Investigating the symbiotic relationship between the bioenergy feedstock tree Populus trichocarpa and the beneficial fungus Laccaria bicolor, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory found that a fungal protein essential for root establishment (called MiSSP7; Mycorrhiza-induced Small Secreted Protein 7) interacts with a plant-produced protein within the host plant nuclei to promote symbiosis. While both pathogenic and mutualistic fungi use fungal “effector” proteins to facilitate colonization, the results suggest how the mechanisms used to overcome the plant’s defenses differ between these two types of organisms, furthering understanding of how L. bicolor alters the plant’s response to JA and allows formation of symbiotic relationships.

Reference: Plett, J. M., Y. Daguerre, S. Wittulsky, A. Vayssières, A. Deveau, S. J. Melton, A. Kohler, J. L. Morrell-Falvey, A. Brun, C. Veneault-Fourrey, and F. Martin. 2014. “Effector MiSSP7 of the Mutualistic Fungus Laccaria bicolor Stabilizes the Populus JAZ6 Protein and Represses Jasmonic Acid (JA) Responsive Genes,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) 111(22), 8299-304. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1322671111. (Reference link)

Contact: Cathy Ronning, SC-23.2, (301) 903-9549
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Genomic Analysis and Systems Biology
  • Research Area: Microbes and Communities
  • Research Area: Plant Systems and Feedstocks, Plant-Microbe Interactions
  • Research Area: Sustainable Biofuels and Bioproducts

Division: SC-23.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Aug 24, 2019
New Approach for Studying How Microbes Influence Their Environment
A diverse group of scientists suggests a common framework and targeting of known microbial processes [more...]

Aug 08, 2019
Nutrient-Hungry Peatland Microbes Reduce Carbon Loss Under Warmer Conditions
Enzyme production in peatlands reduces carbon lost to respiration under future high temperatures. [more...]

Aug 05, 2019
Amazon Forest Response to CO2 Fertilization Dependent on Plant Phosphorus Acquisition
AmazonFACE Model Intercomparison. The Science Plant growth is dependent on the availabi [more...]

Jul 29, 2019
A Slippery Slope: Soil Carbon Destabilization
Carbon gain or loss depends on the balance between competing biological, chemical, and physical reac [more...]

Jul 15, 2019
Field Evaluation of Gas Analyzers for Measuring Ecosystem Fluxes
How gas analyzer type and correction method impact measured fluxes. The Science A side- [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)