This review discusses the role arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi play in the regulation of plant nutrient transporter genes. Many plant nutrient transporter genes appear to be transcriptionally regulated by a feed-back mechanism that reduces their expression when the plant reaches an optimal level of nutrition. Their down-regulation in mycorrhizal roots, therefore, would be predicted as a result of symbiotic function. A variety of studies on Pi- Zn- and ammonium- or nitrate-transporter genes from two plant species indirectly support this model. For example, one study showed that the expression of the high-affinity Pi-transporter MtPT2 within mycorrhizal roots of Medicago truncatula was inversely correlated with the concentration of P within the shoots, which suggested that P supply from the fungus influenced this gene's expression. However, there is some evidence that these plant nutrient transporters are also down-regulated within mycorrhizal roots by a mechanism not involving nutrient supply by the fungus. Carbon demand by the fungus may be one factor that can influence their expression within mycorrhizal roots.
- Arbuscular mycorrhizas
- Nutrient transporters