Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and rhizobium bacteria are accommodated in specialized membrane compartments that form a host-microbe interface. To better understand how these interfaces are made, we studied the regulation of exocytosis during interface formation. We used a phylogenetic approach to identify target soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor-attachment protein receptors (t-SNAREs) that are dedicated to symbiosis and used cell-specific expression analysis together with protein localization to identify t-SNAREs that are present on the host-microbe interface in Medicago truncatula. We investigated the role of these t-SNAREs during the formation of a host-microbe interface. We showed that multiple syntaxins are present on the peri-arbuscular membrane. From these, we identified SYNTAXIN OF PLANTS 13II (SYP13II) as a t-SNARE that is essential for the formation of a stable symbiotic interface in both AM and rhizobium symbiosis. In most dicot plants, the SYP13II transcript is alternatively spliced, resulting in two isoforms, SYP13IIα and SYP13IIβ. These splice-forms differentially mark functional and degrading arbuscule branches. Our results show that vesicle traffic to the symbiotic interface is specialized and required for its maintenance. Alternative splicing of SYP13II allows plants to replace a t-SNARE involved in traffic to the plasma membrane with a t-SNARE that is more stringent in its localization to functional arbuscules.
- Alternative splicing
- Arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM)
- Host-microbe interface
- N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor-attachment protein receptor (SNARE)