University of Cambridge > > Plant Sciences Research Seminars > The Rice Npc Transporter Mediates Recognition Of Novel Essential Am Symbiotic Signal

The Rice Npc Transporter Mediates Recognition Of Novel Essential Am Symbiotic Signal

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Yoan Coudert.

During Arbuscular Mycorrhiza (AM) symbiosis, the roots of plants and Glomeromycotan fungi engage in a tightly regulated liaison for their mutual benefit. Forward genetic screens in legume species provided the first insight into the intricate genetic network that controls AM development. However, the precise molecular mechanisms that underpin specific recognition of AM fungi remain elusive. The maize nope (no perception) mutant and its rice counterpart, npc (no perception candidate) are unable to properly establish AM. The npc mutant phenotype is characterized by the inability of the AM fungus to properly penetrate the root epidermis consistent with NPC playing a role in early symbiotic signaling. NPC encodes a membrane intrinsic protein that localizes to the plasma membrane. The protein belongs to the major facilitator superfamily with potential transporter activity and is expressed in mycorrhizal roots along the fungal infection path. The protein is conserved across the fungal and the plant kingdom with NPC occurring as a single gene in most monocots while multiple copies exist among dicots and early diverging plants.

A previously characterized NPC ortholog knock-out mutant strain of the fungal human pathogen Candida albicans was used to explore the role of the rice NPC gene. We made the extraordinary discovery that the fungal and the plant proteins were functionally equivalent. This important discovery provides solid ground to identify a potential NPC transport substrate, a novel AM essential symbiotic signaling molecule.

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Research Seminars series.

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