Underground allies - how and why do mycelial networks help plants defend themselves? What are the fitness, regulatory, and practical implications of defence-related signaling between plants via common mycelial networks?

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Babikova, Z., Johnson, D., Bruce, T. J. A., Pickett, J. A. and Gilbert, L. 2014. Underground allies - how and why do mycelial networks help plants defend themselves? What are the fitness, regulatory, and practical implications of defence-related signaling between plants via common mycelial networks? Bioessays. 36 (1), p. 21/06/2017.

AuthorsBabikova, Z., Johnson, D., Bruce, T. J. A., Pickett, J. A. and Gilbert, L.
Abstract

Most land plants associate with mycorrhizal fungi that can connect roots of neighboring plants in common mycelial networks (CMNs). Recent evidence shows that CMNs transfer warning signals of pathogen and aphid attack between plants. However, we do not know how defence‐related signaling via CMNs operates or how ubiquitous it is. Nor do we know what the ecological relevance and fitness consequences are, particularly from the perspective of the mycorrhizal fungus. Here, we focus on the potential fitness benefits for mycorrhizal fungi and outline hypothetical scenarios in which signal transfer via CMNs is modulated in order to acquire the most benefit for the fungus (i.e. acquisition of carbon) for minimal cost. We speculate that the signal may be quantitative and may elicit plant defence responses on different levels depending on the distance the signal is transferred. Finally, we discuss the possibility of practical applications of this phenomenon for crop protection.

Keywordsarbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; common mycelial networks; defence‐related metabolism; fitness consequences; herbivores; hyphae; rhizosphere signaling
Year of Publication2014
JournalBioessays
Journal citation36 (1), p. 21/06/2017
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1002/bies.201300092
PubMed ID24129903
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Natural Environment Research Council
Funder project or codeHow do interactions between herbivores and mycorrhizal fungi regulate production of plant signalling compounds and parasitoid behaviour?
Elucidating the Chemical Ecology of Belowground Plant-Plant Communication [CHECK]
Modelling and manipulation of plant-aphid interactions: A new avenue for sustainable disease management of an important crop in Africa
CUKPGP:New pest resistance in rice, by breeding and genetic modification (GM) for constitutive and inducible levels of defence homoterpenes
Innovative approaches to pest management
Publisher's version
Copyright license
CC BY
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online15 Oct 2013
PublisherWiley
ISSN0265-9247

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