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A phosphate transporter from the mycorrhizal fungus Glomus versiforme


VESICULAR-arbuscular (VA) mycorrhizal fungi form symbiotic associations with the roots of most terrestrial plants, including many agriculturally important crop species1–3. The fungi colonize the cortex of the root to obtain carbon from their plant host, while assisting the plant with the uptake of phosphate and other mineral nutrients from the soil2–5. This association is beneficial to the plant, because phosphate is essential for plant growth and development, especially during growth under nutrient-limiting conditions2,6–8. Molecular genetic studies of these fungi and their interaction with plants have been limited owing to the obligate symbiotic nature of the VA fungi, so the molecular mechanisms underlying fungal-mediated uptake and translocation of phosphate from the soil to the plant remain unknown. Here we begin to investigate this process by identifying a complementary DNA that encodes a trans-membrane phosphate transporter (GvPT) from Glomus versiforme, a VA mycorrhizal fungus. The function of the protein encoded by GvPT was confirmed by complementation of a yeast phosphate transport mutant. Expression of GvPT was localized to the external hyphae of G. versiforme during mycorrhizal associations, these being the initial site of phosphate uptake from the soil.

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Harrison, M., Buuren, M. A phosphate transporter from the mycorrhizal fungus Glomus versiforme. Nature 378, 626–629 (1995).

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