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Open Access Research article

The arbuscular mycorrhizal status has an impact on the transcriptome profile and amino acid composition of tomato fruit

Alessandra Salvioli1, Inès Zouari1, Michel Chalot3 and Paola Bonfante12*

Author Affiliations

1 Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale, Università degli Studi di Torino and IPP-CNR, viale Mattioli 25, 10125 Torino, Italy

2 IPP-CNR, viale Mattioli 25, 10125 Torino, Italy

3 Université Henri Poincaré - Nancy I, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, UMR INRA/UHP 1136 Interactions Arbres/Micro-organismes, BP 239, 54506, Vandoeuvre-les Nancy Cedex, France

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BMC Plant Biology 2012, 12:44  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-12-44

Published: 27 March 2012

Abstract

Background

Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis is the most widespread association between plant roots and fungi in natural and agricultural ecosystems. This work investigated the influence of mycorrhization on the economically relevant part of the tomato plant, by analyzing its impact on the physiology of the fruit. To this aim, a combination of phenological observations, transcriptomics (Microarrays and qRT-PCR) and biochemical analyses was used to unravel the changes that occur on fruits from Micro-Tom tomato plants colonized by the AM fungus Glomus mosseae.

Results

Mycorrhization accelerated the flowering and fruit development and increased the fruit yield. Eleven transcripts were differentially regulated in the fruit upon mycorrhization, and the mycorrhiza-responsive genes resulted to be involved in nitrogen and carbohydrate metabolism as well as in regulation and signal transduction. Mycorrhization has increased the amino acid abundance in the fruit from mycorrhizal plants, with glutamine and asparagine being the most responsive amino acids.

Conclusions

The obtained results offer novel data on the systemic changes that are induced by the establishment of AM symbiosis in the plant, and confirm the work hypothesis that AM fungi may extend their influence from the root to the fruit.