Andrea Genre

Abstract Arbuscular mycorrhizas are widespread and ancient plant symbioses that were already established by the first land plants when they abandoned the water environment. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi scavenge mineral nutrients and water from the soil improving the overall plant fitness, receiving in exchange carbohydrates that are indispensable to complete their life cycle. In spite of their importance in natural and agricultural ecosystems, many biological aspects of these interactions are still partially obscure, especially concerning the early stages of symbiosis establishment which involve a signal exchange between the partners. Nonetheless, recent advancements have started to shed light on plant-fungus signalling mechanisms and their relation with the cell responses that culminate in fungal accommodation in the root cells. This chapter is focused on such advances and the new views that they have suggested.

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