While effects of (a)biotic stress events in the phyllosphere have been studied intensively, possible influences of stress on the arbuscular mycorrhizal hyphosphere has scarcely been investigated. We hypothesised that stress challenge in the phyllosphere could alter primary metabolite profiles of the hyphosphere - the mycelial network connecting plants. Donor plants, connected to receiver plants by mycelial networks, were aphid-challenged during 84 h. Primary metabolite profiles in the hyphosphere were investigated. Gene-expression of plant defence gene PR1 was measured in one of the receiver plants during the challenge. Hexose levels in the hyphosphere increased when donor plants were aphid-challenged. This change in metabolic profile was influenced by leaf sampling from receiver plant. PR1 expression increased in donor plants 48 h after challenge, and consequently 60 h after, in receiver plants. We conclude that aphid infestation of donor plants modified primary carbon metabolism in the hyphosphere. Plant defence response in receiver plants, occurred 12 h after detection of response in the aphid-challenged donor plants. While this work is the first to reveal primary metabolic profiles of the AM hyphosphere, more work is needed to elucidate the possible role of transient changes of hexose metabolism in stress response and signalling processes in the hyphosphere of connected plants.
• Soil salinity severely affects and constrains crop production worldwide. Salinity causes osmotic and ionic stress, inhibiting gas exchange and photosynthesis, ultimately impairing plant growth and development. Arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) have been shown to maintain light and carbon use efficiency under stress, possibly providing a tool to improve salinity tolerance of the host plants. Thus, it was hypothesized that AM will contribute to improved growth and yield under stress conditions. • Wheat plants (Triticum aestivum L.) were grown with (AMF+) or without (AMFÀ) arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) inoculation. Plants were subjected to salinity stress (200 mM NaCl) either at pre-or post-anthesis or at both stages. Growth and yield components, leaf chlorophyll content as well as gas exchange parameters and AMF colonization were analysed. • AM plants exhibited a higher rate of net photosynthesis and stomatal conductance and lower intrinsic water use efficiency. Furthermore, AM wheat plants subjected to salinity stress at both pre-anthesis and post-anthesis maintained higher grain yield than non-AM salinity-stressed plants. • These results suggest that AMF inoculation mitigates the negative effects of salinity stress by influencing carbon use efficiency and maintaining higher grain yield under stress.
Inoculating plants with entomopathogenic fungi may influence plant nutrient uptake and growth, and herbivore performance. Knowledge is limited concerning the effects of this symbiosis on higher trophic levels. We examined how fungal treatment of faba bean seeds with the entomopathogenic fungus
influenced the choice-behavior and development of the aphid parasitoid
. We also sampled plant material for analysis of changes in expression of genes related to plant defense pathways. While parasitoids were compatible with plants inoculated with
initially (66 vs. 65% parasitization on inoculated and control plants, respectively; similar development times of parasitoids: 9.2 days), the emergence of adult parasitoids originating from aphids on fungus treated plants was significantly lower (67 vs. 76%, respectively). We also found that the defense response changed, similar to induced systemic resistance, when plants were treated with
, similarly to what has been found for other plant symbiotic microorganisms. These novel findings show that although the application of entomopathogenic fungi to plants can alter the plants’ defense against herbivores, it may also have an impact on beneficial insects, so their function and use should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Pathogen infections of the phyllosphere have been investigated in detail, however, the changes induced by these infections on the arbuscular mycorrhizal hyphosphere, and the consequent signalling to the neighbouring plants have been scarcely investigated. Here, our objectives were to document that
infection of connected
plants resulted in changes in the metabolism and microbial community of the hyphosphere, confirming the induction of plant defence in connected plants through gene-expression evaluations. Infected plants were challenged with
for 72 h. Changes in gene-expression of pathogenesis-related proteins 1,2, and 5 (
) of both infected- and non-infected plants were analysed, to confirm signalling through the hyphosphere. The primary metabolic profiles and changes in the level of microbiota in the hyphosphere were assessed. Changes in expression of
genes occurred in the neighbouring plants 24 hours after infection. Mannitol levels decreased in presence of AMF. A decrease in the level of actinobacteria in the hyphosphere of infected plants was detected. We conclude that
infection induced a signalling event through the AM hyphosphere, confirmed by changes in defence gene-expression in non-infected neighbouring plants, influenced primary metabolic activity of-, and affected the microbial composition within-, the AM hyphosphere.
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