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Department of Plant Sciences

Extracellular vesicles and membrane tubules at the symbiotic interface

During arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis plants obtain essential minerals and water from AM fungi in exchange for sugars and lipids, in fascinating highly branched, yet short-lived structures, called arbuscules. Using 3D TEM tomography Roth et al. provide exciting evidence for the production of membrane nanotubes by symbiotic and pathogenic fungi alike during invasion of nutrient rich environments such as the plant cell. The authors also show that the shared matrix separating plant and fungal membranes in symbiosis contains a complex, heterogenous medley of interconnected plant membrane tubes and extracellular vesicles (EVs) conceivably involved in plant-fungal communication.

Roth R, Hillmer S, Funaya C, Chiapello M, Schumacher K, Lo Presti L, Kahmann R, Paszkowski U. (2019) Arbuscular cell invasion coincides with extracellular vesicles and membrane tubules. Nature Plants.