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Unearthing the roots of ectomycorrhizal symbioses [Nature Reviews Microbiology / Review]

Subject terms : forest ecology, fungal evolution, fungal genomics, fungal host response, symbiosis

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

During the diversification of Fungi and the rise of conifer-dominated and angiosperm- dominated forests, mutualistic symbioses developed between certain trees and ectomycorrhizal fungi that enabled these trees to colonize boreal and temperate regions. The evolutionary success of these symbioses is evident from phylogenomic analyses that suggest that ectomycorrhizal fungi have arisen in approximately 60 independent saprotrophic lineages, which has led to the wide range of ectomycorrhizal associations that exist today. In this Review, we discuss recent genomic studies that have revealed the adaptations that seem to be fundamental to the convergent evolution of ectomycorrhizal fungi, including the loss of some metabolic functions and the acquisition of effectors that facilitate mutualistic interactions with host plants. Finally, we consider how these insights can be integrated into a model of the development of ectomycorrhizal symbioses.

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