88 research outputs found

    The impact of mycorrhizal symbiosis on tomato fruit quality

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    The project investigates the potential impact of mycorrhizal fungi, which have been acknowledged as a new class of bio-fertilizers, on the quality of vegetables. To verify such a hypothesis, we selected tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) as a model plant to examine whether the beneficial effects of mycorrhizal fungi on plant development may be extended to some qualitative fruit features. As a second step, five genes related to carotenoid biosynthesis and volatile compounds were selected. Their expression was investigated through a real-time RT-PCR comparison of mycorrhized and non-mycorrhized plants

    Plant genotype and seasonality drive fine changes in olive root microbiota

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    Due to global warming, the cultivation range of many crops is extending at higher altitudes and latitudes exposing plants to new climatic and environmental conditions, as early spring frosts. To face these issues in a sustainable agriculture context, new innovative technologies, as the use of biostimulants and the manipulation of plant microbiota, are emerging. Here, we focused on anarea of Northern Italy in which olive tree cultivation, a traditionally and economically-relevant item of Mediterranean agriculture, is rapidly extending to inland cold-temperate areas. We conducted an assessment of the prokariotic and fungal microbiota present in the root endosphere of a cold-hardy and a cold-susceptible Italian olive cultivar (Leccino and Frantoio, respectively) along spring and winter seasons. Microbiota assembly and diversity analysis revealed that the root microbiotas of more than 20 years-old plants were highly stable with few variations occurring across seasons and genotypes. Notably, we detected fine seasonal-dependent community adjustments in the cold-susceptible genotype, which involved beneficial microbes and pathogens. Moreover, different patterns of abundance were found for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and their endobacteria revealing the presence of intimate tripartite interactions. Overall, the results suggest that a healthy and highly stable root microbiota could provide a useful tool to help olive trees to face new environmental issues as those related to climate change

    Tomato RNA-seq Data Mining Reveals the Taxonomic and Functional Diversity of Root-Associated Microbiota

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    Next-generation approaches have enabled researchers to deeply study the plant microbiota and to reveal how microbiota associated with plant roots has key effects on plant nutrition, disease resistance, and plant development. Although early “omics” experiments focused mainly on the species composition of microbial communities, new “meta-omics” approaches such as meta-transcriptomics provide hints about the functions of the microbes when interacting with their plant host. Here, we used an RNA-seq dataset previously generated for tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) plants growing on different native soils to test the hypothesis that host-targeted transcriptomics can detect the taxonomic and functional diversity of root microbiota. Even though the sequencing throughput for the microbial populations was limited, we were able to reconstruct the microbial communities and obtain an overview of their functional diversity. Comparisons of the host transcriptome and the meta-transcriptome suggested that the composition and the metabolic activities of the microbiota shape plant responses at the molecular level. Despite the limitations, mining available next-generation sequencing datasets can provide unexpected results and potential benefits for microbiota research

    Effect of the strigolactone analogs methyl phenlactonoates on spore germination and root colonization of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

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    Strigolactones (SLs), a novel class of plant hormones, are key regulator of plant architecture and mediator of biotic interactions in the rhizosphere. Root-released SLs initiate the establishment of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis by inducing spore germination and hyphal branching in AM fungi (AMF). However, these compounds also trigger the germination of root parasitic weeds, paving the way for deleterious infestation. Availability of SLs is required for investigating of their functions and also for application in agriculture. However, natural SLs are difficult to synthesize due to their complex structure and cannot be isolated at large scale, as they are released at very low concentrations. Therefore, there is a need for synthetic SL analogs. Recently, we reported on the development of simple SL analogs, methyl phenlactonoates (MPs), which show high SL activity in plants. Here, we investigate the effect of MP1, MP3 and the widely used SL-analog GR24 on AMF spore germination and host root colonization. Our results show that MP1 and MP3 inhibit AMF spore germination, but promote the intra-radical root colonization, both more efficiently than GR24. These results indicate that field application of MP1 and MP3 does not have negative impact on mycorrhizal fungi. In conclusion, our data together with the previously reported simple synthesis, high activity in regulating plant architecture and inducing Striga seed germination, demonstrate the utility of MP1 and MP3 as for field application in combating root parasitic weeds by inducing germination in host's absence

    From root to fruit: RNA-Seq analysis shows that arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis may affect tomato fruit metabolism

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    BACKGROUND: Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) establishes a beneficial symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. The formation of the mycorrhizal association in the roots leads to plant-wide modulation of gene expression. To understand the systemic effect of the fungal symbiosis on the tomato fruit, we used RNA-Seq to perform global transcriptome profiling on Moneymaker tomato fruits at the turning ripening stage. RESULTS: Fruits were collected at 55¬†days after flowering, from plants colonized with Funneliformis mosseae and from control plants, which were fertilized to avoid responses related to nutrient deficiency. Transcriptome analysis identified 712 genes that are differentially expressed in fruits from mycorrhizal and control plants. Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analysis of these genes showed 81 overrepresented functional GO classes. Up-regulated GO classes include photosynthesis, stress response, transport, amino acid synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism functions, suggesting a general impact of fungal symbiosis on primary metabolisms and, particularly, on mineral nutrition. Down-regulated GO classes include cell wall, metabolism and ethylene response pathways. Quantitative RT-PCR validated the RNA-Seq results for 12 genes out of 14 when tested at three fruit ripening stages, mature green, breaker and turning. Quantification of fruit nutraceutical and mineral contents produced values consistent with the expression changes observed by RNA-Seq analysis. CONCLUSIONS: This RNA-Seq profiling produced a novel data set that explores the intersection of mycorrhization and fruit development. We found that the fruits of mycorrhizal plants show two transcriptomic ‚Äúsignatures‚ÄĚ: genes characteristic of a climacteric fleshy fruit, and genes characteristic of mycorrhizal status, like phosphate and sulphate transporters. Moreover, mycorrhizal plants under low nutrient conditions produce fruits with a nutrient content similar to those from non-mycorrhizal plants under high nutrient conditions, indicating that AM fungi can help replace exogenous fertilizer for fruit crops. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-221) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users
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