In terrestrial ecosystems most plant species live in mutualistic symbioses with nutrient-delivering arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Establishment of AM symbioses includes transient, intracellular formation of fungal feeding structures, the arbuscules. A plant-derived peri-arbuscular membrane (PAM) surrounds the arbuscules, mediating reciprocal nutrient exchange. Signaling at the PAM must be well coordinated to achieve this dynamic cellular intimacy. Here, we identify the PAM-specific Arbuscular Receptor-like Kinase 1 (ARK1) from maize and rice to condition sustained AM symbiosis. Mutation of rice ARK1 causes a significant reduction in vesicles, the fungal storage structures, and a concomitant reduction in overall root colonization by the AM fungus Rhizophagus irregularis. Arbuscules, although less frequent in the ark1 mutant, are morphologically normal. Co-cultivation with wild-type plants restores vesicle and spore formation, suggesting ARK1 function is required for the completion of the fungal life-cycle, thereby defining a functional stage, post arbuscule development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)