Polyphosphate accumulation is driven by transcriptome alterations that lead to near-synchronous and near-equivalent uptake of inorganic cations in an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus



  • Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi accumulate a massive amount of phosphate as polyphosphate to deliver to the host, but the underlying physiological and molecular mechanisms have yet to be elucidated. In the present study, the dynamics of cationic components during polyphosphate accumulation were investigated in conjunction with transcriptome analysis.
  • Rhizophagus sp. HR1 was grown with Lotus japonicus under phosphorus-deficient conditions, and extraradical mycelia were harvested after phosphate application at prescribed intervals. Levels of polyphosphate, inorganic cations and amino acids were measured, and RNA-Seq was performed on the Illumina platform.
  • Phosphate application triggered not only polyphosphate accumulation but also near-synchronous and near-equivalent uptake of Na+, K+, Ca2+ and Mg2+, whereas no distinct changes in the levels of amino acids were observed. During polyphosphate accumulation, the genes responsible for mineral uptake, phosphate and nitrogen metabolism and the maintenance of cellular homeostasis were up-regulated.
  • The results suggest that inorganic cations play a major role in neutralizing the negative charge of polyphosphate, and these processes are achieved by the orchestrated regulation of gene expression. Our findings provide, for the first time, a global picture of the cellular response to increased phosphate availability, which is the initial process of nutrient delivery in the associations.