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ERC

ENDOFUN Report Summary

Project ID: 616228
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Switzerland

Periodic Report Summary 2 - ENDOFUN (The endodermis - unraveling the function of an ancient barrier)

During the 30 months period of this project, we have published a first description of a mutant with a defect in the endodermal barrier (sgn3) (Pfister et al., eLife, 2014) and shown that this mutant has a whole suite of nutrient homeostatic defects, but that a main component is a deficieny in potassium. Based on this we are now investigating the exact causes of this potassium-deficiency, by introducing a combination of cell-type-specific marker lines and known potassium transporter mutants into the sgn3 mutant background. We have also developed assays that allow tracing of potassium fluxes within root of mutant and wild-type plants (Kolbeck et al., unpublished). Importantly, in the context of this project, we have been able to uncover an unexpected plasticity of endodermal barrier function and demonstrated that the deposition of the cork-like suberin polymer in the endodermis can be altered in response to nutrient stresses and has an adaptive role in root nutrient uptake capacity (Barberon et al., Cell, 2016). Our deeper characterisation of other, previously obtained mutants (sgn1, sgn2) has also led to the definition of an entirely new peptide-signaling pathway, whose role is to constantly surveil integrity of the endodermal diffusion barrier (Alassimone, Fujita et al., Nature Plants, 2016 and Doblas et al., Science, 2017). Importantly, stimulation with this peptide leads to specific over-lignification and over-suberisation of the endodermis of wild-type plant roots and we have preliminary data that this can increase plant resistance to salt stress for example. In the future, stimulation of this pathway in crop plants could therefore be a way to inducibly protect plants towards diverse stresses, such as drought, salinity or pathogen attacks.

Reported by

UNIVERSITE DE LAUSANNE
Switzerland
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