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DEEP common seminar | Eloise Foo

Plant hormones and the art of self-control in plant-microbe symbioses

by Eloise Foo, ARC Future Fellow, School of Natural Sciences, University of Tasmania, Australia

Time: 5 September 2019, 11h00–12h00
Place: to be announced...

Abstract
Plants maximise nutrient uptake by forming specialised symbioses with soil microbes that provide previously inaccessible nutrients in exchange for plant-fixed carbon. This includes the widespread arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbioses formed between most land plants and glomeromycota fungi and the more recently derived nodulation, a symbiosis between mainly legumes and nitrogen-fixing bacteria. We work in both legume and non-legume systems to examine key plant signals that regulate these symbioses, including plant hormones and elements of the autoregulation pathway. Recently we have found novel roles for the plant hormones gibberellin and brassinosteroids in nodulation and AM. This includes cell layer specific roles for gibberellin and brassinosteroid during rhizobial infection and nodule organogenesis. Plants employ a negative feedback system to control the formation of these symbioses termed autoregulation. Elegant physiological studies in legumes have indicated there is at least some overlap in the genes and signals that regulate these two symbioses, however the genetic basis of autoregulation of mycorrhizae (AOM) it is largely unknown. We have identified key genetic elements of the AOM pathway in the non-legume tomato. We explore if these genes act systemically in AOM, monitor the expression of genes encoding CLE signaling peptides, and explore the cross over with nutrient signaling. Our results provide the genetic evidence for AOM pathway in a non-legume and add to our understanding of the evolutionary origin of AOM.

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