Publication

Reconsidering mutualistic plant-fungal interactions through the lens of effector biology Public

Jonathan M. Plett,Francis Martin 2015 August 01 Current Opinion in Plant Biology 2015 26: 45-50

Abstract

Mutualistic mycorrhizal plant–fungal interactions have shaped the evolution of plant life on land. In these intimate associations, fungal hyphae grow invasively within plant tissues. Despite this invasion, these mycorrhizal fungi are not repulsed leading to a great deal of research focused on the signals exchanged between mutualistic fungi and their host plants in an effort to understand how these relationships are established. In this review, we focus on one type of signal used by mutualistic fungi during symbiosis: effector proteins. These small secreted proteins have recently been found to be used by a range of beneficial fungi to alter the physiological status of the plant host such that symbiosis is favoured. We discuss how the role of these novel proteins has altered our vision of how the ‘mutualistic’ lifestyle evolved in fungi: rather than being perceived as beneficial by their plant hosts, these microbes currently viewed as ‘beneficial’ may actually be overcoming the defences of their plant hosts in a mechanism originally thought to be unique to pathogenic microbes.

Highlights

  • Mutualistic mycorrhizal plant–fungal interactions have shaped the evolution of plant life on land.

  • Effector-like small secreted proteins are used by beneficial fungi to alter the physiological status of the plant host such that symbiosis is favoured.

  • Known symbiotic effectors divert host cellular defense pathways.


Citation

Plett JM and Martin F. Reconsidering mutualistic plant-fungal interactions through the lens of effector biology. 2015. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 26: 45-50 doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2015.060001


Comments

Available online June 25, 2015.