Blumenols as shoot markers for root symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
High-through-put (HTP) screening for functional arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF)-associations is challenging because roots must be excavated and colonization evaluated by transcript analysis or microscopy. Here we show that specific leaf-metabolites provide broadly applicable accurate proxies of these associations, suitable for HTP-screens. With a combination of untargeted and targeted metabolomics, we show that shoot accumulations of hydroxy- and carboxyblumenol C-glucosides mirror root AMF-colonization in Nicotiana attenuata plants. Genetic/pharmacologic manipulations indicate that these AMF-indicative foliar blumenols are synthesized and transported from roots to shoots. These blumenol-derived foliar markers, found in many di- and monocotyledonous crop and model plants (Solanum lycopersicum, Solanum tuberosum, Hordeum vulgare, Triticum aestivum, Medicago truncatula and Brachypodium distachyon), are not restricted to particular plant-AMF interactions, and are shown to be applicable for field-based QTL mapping of AMF-related genes.
Wang, M.; Schäfer, M.; Li, D.; Halitschke, R.; Dong, C.; McGale, E.; Paetz, C.; Song, Y.; Li, S.; Dong, J.; Heiling, S.; Groten, K.; Franken, P.; Bitterlich, M.; Harrison, M.; Paszkowski, U.; Baldwin, I. 2018. Blumenols as shoot markers for root symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. eLife 2018;7:e37093.