Biology (Jun 2022)

Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis Leads to Differential Regulation of Genes and miRNAs Associated with the Cell Wall in Tomato Leaves

  • Ana Belén Mendoza-Soto,
  • Amada Zulé Rodríguez-Corral,
  • Adriana Bojórquez-López,
  • Maylin Cervantes-Rojo,
  • Claudia Castro-Martínez,
  • Melina Lopez-Meyer

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11, no. 6
p. 854


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Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis is an association that provides nutritional benefits to plants. Importantly, it induces a physiological state allowing plants to respond to a subsequent pathogen attack in a more rapid and intense manner. Consequently, mycorrhiza-colonized plants become less susceptible to root and shoot pathogens. This study aimed to identify some of the molecular players and potential mechanisms related to the onset of defense priming by mycorrhiza colonization, as well as miRNAs that may act as regulators of priming genes. The upregulation of cellulose synthases, pectinesterase inhibitors, and xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolase, as well as the downregulation of a pectinesterase, suggest that the modification and reinforcement of the cell wall may prime the leaves of mycorrhizal plants to react faster and stronger to subsequent pathogen attack. This was confirmed by the findings of miR164a-3p, miR164a-5p, miR171e-5p, and miR397, which target genes and are also related to the biosynthesis or modification of cell wall components. Our findings support the hypothesis that the reinforcement or remodeling of the cell wall and cuticle could participate in the priming mechanism triggered by mycorrhiza colonization, by strengthening the first physical barriers upstream of the pathogen encounter.