Stimulation of carotenoid metabolism in arbuscular mycorrhizal roots

Thomas Fester, Diana Schmidt, Swanhild Lohse, Michael H. Walter, Giovanni Giuliano, Peter M. Bramley, Paul D. Fraser, Bettina Hause, Dieter Strack

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Development of arbuscular mycorrhizal roots is correlated with accumulation of various isoprenoids, i.e. acyclic C14polyene 'mycorradicin' and C13cyclohexenone derivatives. We present data indicating a strong stimulation of carotenoid metabolism in such roots. Carotenoid profiling revealed mycorrhiza-specific accumulation of ζ-carotene in Zea mays and Medicago truncatula. Precursor accumulation after inhibition of phytoene desaturase (Pds) activity by norflurazon indicated an increased phytoene biosynthetic capacity in mycorrhizal roots of all species analyzed. Nicotiana tabacum plants transformed with a PDS promoter-GUS construct showed a cell-specific induction of PDS promoter activity in root cells containing arbuscules. Mycorradicin biosynthesis and, partially, mycorrhization were impaired in maize mutants deficient in carotenoid biosynthesis. These data indicate that (1) mycorradicin is probably synthesized via a C40precursor carotenoid, (2) carotenoid biosynthesis is induced in mycorrhizal roots, (3) induction occurs, at least partially, at the transcriptional level, and (4) that this may play a functional role during mycorrhization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148 - 154
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Fester, T., Schmidt, D., Lohse, S., Walter, M. H., Giuliano, G., Bramley, P. M., Fraser, P. D., Hause, B., & Strack, D. (2002). Stimulation of carotenoid metabolism in arbuscular mycorrhizal roots. Planta, 216(1), 148 - 154.