Transcriptional responses of soybean roots to colonization with the root endophytic fungus Piriformospora indica reveals altered phenylpropanoid and secondary metabolism

Ruchika Bajaj, Yinyin Huang, Sebhat Gebrechristos, Brian Mikolajczyk, Heather Brown, Ram Prasad, Ajit Varma, Kathryn E. Bushley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Piriformospora indica, a root endophytic fungus, has been shown to enhance biomass production and confer tolerance to various abiotic and biotic stresses in many plant hosts. A growth chamber experiment of soybean (Glycine max) colonized by P. indica compared to uninoculated control plants showed that the fungus significantly increased shoot dry weight, nutrient content, and rhizobial biomass. RNA-Seq analyses of root tissue showed upregulation of 61 genes and downregulation of 238 genes in colonized plants. Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analyses demonstrated that upregulated genes were most significantly enriched in GO categories related to lignin biosynthesis and regulation of iron transport and metabolism but also mapped to categories of nutrient acquisition, hormone signaling, and response to drought stress. Metabolic pathway analysis revealed upregulation of genes within the phenylpropanoid and derivative pathways such as biosynthesis of monolignol subunits, flavonoids and flavonols (luteolin and quercetin), and iron scavenging siderophores. Highly enriched downregulated GO categories included heat shock proteins involved in response to heat, high-light intensity, hydrogen peroxide, and several related to plant defense. Overall, these results suggest that soybean maintains an association with this root endosymbiotic fungus that improves plant growth and nutrient acquisition, modulates abiotic stress, and promotes synergistic interactions with rhizobia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10227
JournalScientific reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Transcriptional responses of soybean roots to colonization with the root endophytic fungus Piriformospora indica reveals altered phenylpropanoid and secondary metabolism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this