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Free Content A leucine-rich repeat protein is required for growth promotion and enhanced seed production mediated by the endophytic fungus Piriformospora indica in Arabidopsis thaliana

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Piriformospora indica, a basidiomycete of the Sebacinaceae family, promotes the growth, development and seed production of a variety of plant species. Arabidopsis plants colonized with the fungus produce 22% more seeds than uncolonized plants. Deactivating the Arabidopsis single-copy gene DMI-1, which encodes an ion carrier required for mycorrihiza formation in legumes, does not affect the beneficial interaction between the two symbiotic partners. We used cellular and molecular responses initiated during the establishment of the interaction between P. indica and Arabidopsis roots to isolate mutants that fail to respond to the fungus. An ethylmethane sulfonate mutant ( Piriformospora indica- insensitive-2; pii-2), and a corresponding insertion line, are impaired in a leucine-rich repeat protein (At1g13230). The protein pii-2, which contains a putative endoplasmic reticulum retention signal, is also found in Triton X-100-insoluble plasma membrane microdomains, suggesting that it is present in the endoplasmic reticulum/plasma membrane continuum in Arabidopsis roots. The microdomains also contain an atypical receptor protein (At5g16590) containing leucine-rich repeats, the message of which is transiently upregulated in Arabidopsis roots in response to P. indica. This response is not detectable in At1g13230 mutants, and the protein is not detectable in the At1g13230 mutant microdomains. Partial deactivation of a gene for a sphingosine kinase, which is required for the biosynthesis of sphingolipid found in plasma membrane microdomains, also affects the Arabidopsis/P. indica interaction. Thus, pii-2, and presumably also At5g16590, two proteins present in plasma membrane microdomains, appear to be involved in P. indica-induced growth promotion and enhanced seed production in Arabidopsis thaliana.
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Keywords: Arabidopsis; Piriformospora indica; Sebacinaceae; growth promotion; leucine-rich repeat protein; plant/microbe interaction

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Institut für Allgemeine Botanik and Pflanzenphysiologie, Dornburger Str. 159, 07743 Jena, Germany, and 2: Amity Institute of Herbal and Microbial Studies, Sector 125, Noida 201303, UP, India

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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