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Arbuscular mycorrhiza induces gene expression of the apoplastic invertase LIN6 in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) roots

Schaarschmidt, Sara, Roitsch, Thomas, Hause, Bettina
Journal of experimental botany 2006 v.57 no.15 pp. 4015-4023
tomatoes, in situ hybridization, messenger RNA, metabolism, mycorrhizal fungi, vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae, gene expression, beta-fructofuranosidase, Nicotiana tabacum, Rhizophagus intraradices, genes, roots, Solanum lycopersicum var. lycopersicum
Extracellular invertases are suggested to play a crucial role in the arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) symbiosis to fulfil the increased sink function of the mycorrhizal root and the supply of the obligate biotrophic AM fungus with hexoses. In tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), LIN6 represents an apoplastic invertase which is described as a key enzyme in establishing and maintaining sink metabolism. In this study, transcript levels of LIN6 were analysed in tomato roots colonized with the AM fungus Glomus intraradices. Using real-time RT-PCR, a nearly 3-fold increase in LIN6 mRNA levels was detected at late stages of mycorrhization (11 weeks after inoculation). A 1.8-fold induction could already be achieved at earlier stages (5 weeks after inoculation) using higher inoculum concentrations, whereas wounding of non-mycorrhizal roots resulted in up to 12-fold enhanced LIN6 transcripts. As revealed by in situ hybridization, the expression of LIN6 upon mycorrhization was specifically restricted to colonized cells and to the central cylinder. Such a strongly localized pattern due to mycorrhizal cells and to the central core could also be shown for promoter activity using transgenic Nicotiana tabacum plants expressing the gene coding for β-glucuronidase under the control of the LIN6 promoter. The moderate induction of LIN6 expression in mycorrhizal tomato roots compared with stress-stimulated induction suggested a fine-tuning in the activation of sink metabolism in the mutualistic interaction, avoiding stress-induced defence reactions.