Collaborative Tansley review with Luisa Lanfranco and Valentina Fiorilli is out in New Phytologist.

Partner communication and role of nutrients in the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis

Luisa Lanfranco, Valentina Fiorilli, Caroline Gutjahr

The evolutionary and ecological success of the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis relies on an efficient and multifactorial communication system for partner recognition, and on a fine-tuned and reciprocal metabolic regulation of each symbiont to reach an optimal functional integration. Besides strigolactones, N-acetylglucosamine-derivatives released by the plant were recently suggested to trigger fungal reprogramming at the pre-contact stage. Remarkably, Nacetylglucosamine-based diffusible molecules also are symbiotic signals produced by AM fungi (AMF) and clues on the mechanisms of their perception by the plant are emerging. AMF genomes and transcriptomes contain a battery of putative effector genes that may have conserved andAMF-or host plant-specific functions. Nutrient exchange is the key feature of AM symbiosis. A mechanism of phosphate transport inside fungal hyphae has been suggested, and first insights into the regulatory mechanisms of root colonization in accordance with nutrient transfer and status were obtained. The recent discovery of the dependency of AMF on fatty acid transfer from the host has offered a convincing explanation for their obligate biotrophism. Novel studies highlighted the importance of plant and fungal genotypes for the outcome of the symbiosis. These findings open new perspectives for fundamental research and application of AMF in agriculture.