Project Title: Investigate biotic stress induced inter-plant molecular signals and responses in mycorrhizal fungi-connected plants
Project No: lzp-2021/1-0056
Period: 1 January 2022 – 31 December 2024
Project costs: 299999,70 EUR
Principle Investigator: Dr.biol. Zigmunds Orlovskis
The majority of land plants form symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) which greatly extend the surface of plant roots. Furthermore, with their capacity to colonize and connect multiple plant hosts, AMF are proposed to function as information superhighway in transferring diverse signals from plant-to-plant in response to biotic or abiotic stress stimuli. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in generation and decoding of such inter-plant signals in response to pest or pathogen attack remain poorly understood. To overcome the limitations and complexity of natural soil we have developed a compartmentalised in vitro culture for AMF-connected plants using Daucus carota and Medicago truncatula as a hosts for model AMF Rhizophagus irregularis. The project aims to compare plant immune responses in roots and shoots of AMF-connected plants in response to damage and microbial or herbivore associated molecular patterns. Additionally, characterisation of fungal responses to signals from elicitor-stimulated plants as well as investigation of AMF-mediated inter-plant signal metabolites will be performed. Collectively, this will yield novel mechanistic insights into inter-plant communication via soil fungal network to enable prospective biotechnological fine-tuning of belowground signals for improved crop protection and inform future studies with diverse range species to identify intercrops or key fungi capable of sending plant defence priming or activating signals.
Information published 03.01.2022.