Arbuscule-containing and non-colonized cortical cells of mycorrhizal roots undergo extensive and specific reprogramming during arbuscular mycorrhizal development


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Most vascular plants form a mutualistic association with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, known as AM symbiosis. The development of AM symbiosis is an asynchronous process, and mycorrhizal roots therefore typically contain several symbiotic structures and various cell types. Hence, the use of whole-plant organs for downstream analyses can mask cell-specific variations in gene expression. To obtain insight into cell-specific reprogramming during AM symbiosis, comparative analyses of various cell types were performed using laser capture microdissection combined with microarray hybridization. Remarkably, the most prominent transcriptome changes were observed in non-arbuscule-containing cells of mycorrhizal roots, indicating a drastic reprogramming of these cells during root colonization that may be related to subsequent fungal colonization. A high proportion of transcripts regulated in arbuscule-containing cells and non-arbuscule-containing cells encode proteins involved in transport processes, transcriptional regulation and lipid metabolism, indicating that reprogramming of these processes is of particular importance for AM symbiosis.