Navigation Links
Marriage of convenience with a fungus
Date:5/22/2014

This news release is available in German.

Thanks to a fungus, the medicinal plant ribwort plantain gains a higher concentration of the defensive compound catalpol. Biologists at Bielefeld University report this discovery in a study to be published this Thursday (22.5.2014) in the scientific journal 'Nature Communications'. The increase in catalpol gives the plant better protection against pests. In the study, the research team worked with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. These are known to colonize the roots of land plants. The plants benefit from this, because the fungus provides them with nutrients and minerals. However, are the impacts of this marriage of convenience with the fungus on plant chemistry equal for all plants? That is what the researchers wanted to find out.

The fungus is associated with more than four-fifths of all land plants. Up to now, it was not clear whether this symbiosis has the same effect on all of them. 'Previously, findings obtained with certain plant species were incorrectly generalized to other plant species. But it's not as simple as that,' says Professor Dr. Caroline Mller, who heads the Chemical Ecology work group at Bielefeld University's Faculty of Biology. Her team has discovered that not all plants react to the fungus in the same way. 'That's even the case when the plant species are closely related,' says Mller.

The scientists analysed five plant species and tested which substances to be found in the leaves increased or decreased when their roots were infected with the fungus. This allowed them to study the metabolism in the plants.

That the fungus increased the amount of catalpol in ribwort plantain was only one of the findings in the study. In bird's-eye speedwell, the fungus led to hardly any changes in the concentration of catalpol. This defensive compound is not to be found at all in the other plant species, and the symbiosis with the fungus does not change this.

The researchers also found a conspicuous difference in the concentration of citric acid and chemically related compounds. When the plants were infected with the fungus, the concentrations dropped notably in ribwort plantain, broadleaf plantain, bird's-eye speedwell, and barrel medic. However, they tended to rise in annual meadow grass.

To carry out their study, the researchers dried and pulverized leaves from all five plant species. They then treated the powdered leaves of each plant with solvents, and analysed the resulting liquid samples with instruments that measure the concentrations of the individual substances. Finally, they analysed and compared the plant data with powerful computers. 'This gave us what you could call a metabolic fingerprint for each plant,' says Mller.

During their analyses, the scientists found that all the plants they tested had one thing in common: 'They all had more phosphorus in their leaves when they were in symbiosis with the fungus,' says the biologist Rabea Schweiger, who compared thousands of measured data for the study. However, here as well, each plant species functioned according to its own rules: 'It was exciting to see that the metabolism of each plant species reacted completely differently to the fungus and the dose of phosphorus it gave them,' says Schweiger.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Caroline Müller
caroline.mueller@uni-bielefeld.de
49-521-106-5524
Bielefeld University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Child marriages: 39,000 every day
2. Marriage can threaten health: Study finds satisfied newlyweds more likely to gain weight
3. Buttercups alert farmers to first signs of subarctic fungus in the UK
4. Beetle-fungus disease threatens crops and landscape trees in Southern California
5. NYBG scientists identify 81 new plant and fungus species
6. How an ancestral fungus may have influenced coal formation
7. How a common fungus knows when to attack
8. Researchers launch new Rust-Tracker to monitor deadly wheat fungus in 27 nations
9. Natural fungus may provide effective bed bug control
10. University of Tennessee researchers find fungus has cancer-fighting power
11. Fungus responsible for 5 deaths in the wake of massive tornado
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Marriage of convenience with a fungus
(Date:1/11/2016)... 11, 2016  higi, the leading retail and ... locations, web and mobile, today announced it has ... existing investors. --> ... further innovate higi,s health platform – its network ... – including expanding services and programs to retail ...
(Date:1/7/2016)... 7, 2016 This BCC Research report studies ... technologies and devices, identifying newer markets and exploring the ... of biometric devices. Includes forecast from 2015 to 2020. ... markets and explore the expansion of the present application ... type of biometric technology, determine its current market size, ...
(Date:1/6/2016)... PLEASANTON, Calif. , Jan. 6, 2016  Varam ... SayPay as their trusted partner to deliver advanced authentication ... other financial services to the poor. A loan of ... in their lives, giving them the ability to purchase ... machine to make clothing, or stock for a local ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... 8, 2016  Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) announced today that its new website has gone ... story-driven, knowledge-based and mobile-friendly. Visit the new site: ... ... ... "The goal was to reimagine the ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... 5, 2016  In the pharmaceutical industry the medical ... of launch activities including the identification and engagement of ... is especially high in the oncology therapeutic area where ... and the Role of Medical Affairs in Oncology Launch ... oncology therapies find better ways to utilize medical affairs ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... New FDA action date of July 22, ... July 22, 2016   --> - ... - Lifitegrast has the potential to be the only ... signs and symptoms of dry eye disease in adults --> ... approved in the U.S. in the past decade indicated for the treatment of ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016  CytoSorbents Corporation (NASDAQ: ... commercializing its flagship CytoSorb® blood filter to treat ... around the world, announced that CEO Dr. ... the Source Capital Group,s 2016 Disruptive Growth & ... the company.  Conference Presentation Details: ...
Breaking Biology Technology: