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Ectomycorrhizal fungi induce systemic resistance against insects on a non-mycorrhizal plant in a CERK1-dependent manner

By Kishore Vishwanathan, Krzysztof Zienkiewicz, Yang Liu, Dennis Janz, I Feussner, Andrea Polle, Cara H. Haney

Posted 25 Nov 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/852640 (published DOI: 10.1111/nph.16715)

Below-ground microbes can induce systemic resistance (ISR) against foliar pests and pathogens on diverse plant hosts. The prevalence of ISR among plant-microbe-pest systems raises the question of host specificity in microbial induction of ISR. To test whether ISR is limited by plant host range, we tested the ISR-inducing ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungus Laccaria bicolor on the non-mycorrhizal plant Arabidopsis . We found that root inoculation with L. bicolor triggered ISR against the insect herbivore Trichoplusia ni and induced systemic susceptibility (ISS) against the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 ( Pto ). We found that L. bicolor -triggered ISR against T. ni was dependent on jasmonic acid (JA) signaling and salicylic acid (SA) biosynthesis and signaling. We found that heat killed L. bicolor and chitin are sufficient to trigger ISR against T. ni and ISS against Pto and that the chitin receptor CERK1 is necessary for L. bicolor -mediated effects on systemic immunity. Collectively our findings suggest that some ISR responses might not require intimate co-evolution of host and microbe, but rather might be the result of root perception of conserved microbial signals.

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