Martin, F. et al., 2016. Nature Reviews Microbiology

Unearthing the roots of ectomycorrhizal symbioses

Francis Martin, Annegret Kohler, Claude Murat, Claire Veneault-Fourrey, and David S. Hibbett
31 October 2016, Nature Reviews Microbiology 14(12): 760-773; DOI: 10.1038/nrmicro.2016.149


During the diversification of Fungi and the rise of conifer-dominated and angiospermdominated
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.


Martin F, Kohler A, Murat C,Veneault-Fourrey C, and Hibbett DS. (2016).
Unearthing the roots of ectomycorrhizal symbioses. Nat Rev MIcro; DOI: 10.1038/nrmicro.2016.149