Intracellular plant microbe associations: secretory pathways and the formation of perimicrobial compartments

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2010 Aug;13(4):372-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2010.04.005. Epub 2010 May 12.


Plants can establish intracellular interactions with symbiotic as well as pathogenic microbes. Such intracellular accommodation of microbes always involves the formation of a host membrane compartment--the interface between the cytoplasm of the host and the microbe. These are the so-called perimicrobial compartments. In this review we will focus on the rhizobial legume symbiosis in which the microbes are hosted in organelle-like compartments, which are named symbiosomes. The signaling events leading to infection and symbiosome formation are discussed. Further the role of the host cell endomembrane system in symbiosome formation is described and compared with the processes involved in arbuscule and haustorium formation during the interaction of plants and biotrophic fungi.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Endocytosis
  • Exocytosis
  • Intracellular Space / metabolism
  • Intracellular Space / microbiology
  • Microbial Interactions*
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Plants / microbiology*