Genetic diversity for mycorrhizal symbiosis and phosphate transporters in rice

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Jeong, K, Mattes, N, Catausan, S, Chin, JH, Paszkowski & Heuer, S 2015, 'Genetic diversity for mycorrhizal symbiosis and phosphate transporters in rice', Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, vol. 57, no. 11, 969-979.

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Phosphorus (P) is a major plant nutrient and developing crops with higher P-use efficiency is an important breeding goal. In this context we have conducted a comparative study of irrigated and rainfed rice varieties to assess genotypic differences in colonization with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and expression of different P transporter genes. Plants were grown in three different soil samples from a rice farm in the Philippines. The data show that AM symbiosis in all varieties was established after 4 weeks of growth under aerobic conditions and that, in soil derived from a rice paddy, natural AM populations recovered within 6 weeks. The analysis of AM marker genes (AM1, AM3, AM14) and P transporter genes for the direct Pi uptake (PT2, PT6) and AM-mediated pathway (PT11, PT13) were largely in agreement with the observed root AM colonization providing a useful tool for diversity studies. Interestingly, delayed AM colonization was observed in the aus-type rice varieties which might be due to their different root structure and might confer an advantage for weed competition in the field. The data further showed that P-starvation induced root growth and expression of the high-affinity P transporter PT6 was highest in the irrigated variety IR66 which also maintained grain yield under P-deficient field conditions.

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