Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2009Peer reviewedOpen access

The Ectomycorrhizal Fungus Laccaria bicolor Stimulates Lateral Root Formation in Poplar and Arabidopsis through Auxin Transport and Signaling

Felten, Judith; Kohler, Annegret; Morin, Emmanuelle; Bhalerao, Rishikesh P.; Palme, Klaus; Martin, Francis; Ditengou, Franck A.; Legue, Valerie


The early phase of the interaction between tree roots and ectomycorrhizal fungi, prior to symbiosis establishment, is accompanied by a stimulation of lateral root (LR) development. We aimed to identify gene networks that regulate LR development during the early signal exchanges between poplar (Populus tremula x Populus alba) and the ectomycorrhizal fungus Laccaria bicolor with a focus on auxin transport and signaling pathways. Our data demonstrated that increased LR development in poplar and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) interacting with L. bicolor is not dependent on the ability of the plant to form ectomycorrhizae. LR stimulation paralleled an increase in auxin accumulation at root apices. Blocking plant polar auxin transport with 1-naphthylphthalamic acid inhibited LR development and auxin accumulation. An oligoarray-based transcript profile of poplar roots exposed to molecules released by L. bicolor revealed the differential expression of 2,945 genes, including several components of polar auxin transport (PtaPIN and PtaAUX genes), auxin conjugation (PtaGH3 genes), and auxin signaling (PtaIAA genes). Transcripts of PtaPIN9, the homolog of Arabidopsis AtPIN2, and several PtaIAAs accumulated specifically during the early interaction phase. Expression of these rapidly induced genes was repressed by 1-naphthylphthalamic acid. Accordingly, LR stimulation upon contact with L. bicolor in Arabidopsis transgenic plants defective in homologs of these genes was decreased or absent. Furthermore, in Arabidopsis pin2, the root apical auxin increase during contact with the fungus was modified. We propose a model in which fungus-induced auxin accumulation at the root apex stimulates LR formation through a mechanism involving PtaPIN9-dependent auxin redistribution together with PtaIAA-based auxin signaling.

Published in

Plant Physiology
2009, Volume: 151, number: 4, pages: 1991-2005

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)