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Prepenetration Apparatus Assembly Precedes And Predicts The Colonization Patterns Of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Within The Root Cortex Of Both Medicago Truncatula And Daucus Carota  

Andrea Genre, Mireille Chabaud, Antonella Faccio, David G. Barker, Paola Bonfante

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Abstract Arbuscular mycorrhizas (AM) are widespread, ancient endosymbiotic associations that contribute significantly to soil nutrient uptake in plants. We have previously shown that initial fungal penetration of the host root is mediated via a specialized cytoplasmic assembly called the prepenetration apparatus (PPA), which directs AM hyphae through the epidermis (Genre et al., 2005). In vivo confocal microscopy studies performed on Medicago truncatula and Daucus carota, host plants with different patterns of AM colonization, now reveal that subsequent intracellular growth across the root outer cortex is also PPA dependent. On the other hand, inner root cortical colonization leading to arbuscule development involves more varied and complex PPA-related mechanisms. In particular, a striking alignment of polarized PPAs can be observed in adjacent inner cortical cells of D. carota, correlating with the intracellular root colonization strategy of this plant. Ultrastructural analysis of these PPA-containing cells reveals intense membrane trafficking coupled with nuclear enlargement and remodeling, typical features of arbusculated cells. Taken together, these findings imply that prepenetration responses are both conserved and modulated throughout the AM symbiosis as a function of the different stages of fungal accommodation and the host-specific pattern of root colonization. We propose a model for intracellular AM fungal accommodation integrating peri-arbuscular interface formation and the regulation of functional arbuscule development.