Graduating Biology CMG senior and SURF awardee, Aria Armstrong, in the Celenza lab is co-author on a recently published article in Ecosphere entitled, “Indolic glucosinolate pathway provides resistance to mycorrhizal fungal colonization in a non-host Brassicaceae”. Armstrong and Celenza collaborated with Drs. Mark Anthony and Serita Frey at the University of New Hampshire on this work that addresses how the Brassicaceae, an important agricultural group of non-mycorrhizal plants, resist interactions with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Brassicaceae can still be colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), but species like Arabidopsis thaliana experience growth reductions following AMF colonization. Using Arabidopsis mutants that produce no or enhanced indolic glucosinolates, this study addresses whether the ability to produce indolic glucosinolates facilitates resistance to AMF colonization and growth suppression. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal inoculation suppressed the development of IG-removed plants, activated their pathogen-response defenses, and enhanced AMF vesicle colonization of their root systems. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi had no detrimental effects on wild-type or IG-enhanced plants. In conclusion, the IG production pathway appears to serve an important and previously unknown role in reducing AMF colonization in Arabidopsis and it is speculated they serve similar roles in other Brassicaceae.
A link to the paper can be found here: https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ecs2.3100.