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The fungal endophyte Fusarium solani provokes differential effects on the fitness of two Lotus species

Nieva, Amira Susana, Vilas, Juan Manuel, Gárriz, Andrés, Maiale, Santiago Javier, Menéndez, Ana Bernardina, Erban, Alexander, Kopka, Joachim, Ruiz, Oscar Adolfo
Plant physiology and biochemistry 2019 v.144 pp. 100-109
Fusarium solani, Lotus corniculatus var. japonicus, Lotus glaber, endophytes, fungi, homeostasis, legumes, photosynthesis, plant growth, potassium, roots, sugars
The interactions established between plants and endophytic fungi span a continuum from beneficial to pathogenic associations. The aim of this work was to isolate potentially beneficial fungal endophytes in the legume Lotus tenuis and explore the mechanisms underlying their effects. One of the nine fungal strains isolated was identified as Fusarium solani and shows the highest phosphate-solubilisation activity, and also grows endophytically in roots of L. japonicus and L. tenuis. Interestingly, fungal invasion enhances plant growth in L. japonicus but provokes a contrasting effect in L. tenuis. These differences were also evidenced when the rate of photosynthesis as well as sugars and K contents were assessed. Our results indicate that the differential responses observed are due to distinct mechanisms deployed during the establishment of the interactions that involve the regulation of photosynthesis, potassium homeostasis, and carbohydrate metabolism. These responses are employed by these plant species to maintain fitness during the endophytic interaction.