Most land plant species engage in a beneficial interaction with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in order to increase mineral nutrient acquisition, in particular the major macronutrient phosphorus (P). Initiation, development, and maintenance of the symbiosis are largely under the control of the host plant and strongly influenced by the plants' P status. Recent advances reveal that phytohormones, microRNAs, and secreted peptides all regulate and integrate development of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis with the P status of the plant. This occurs through a complex, multi-layered signaling network with crosstalk between phosphate (Pi) starvation signaling pathways and AM symbiosis signaling, and also via direct effects on the AM fungal symbiont. Multiple checkpoints allow the plant to fine-tune symbiosis based on its P status.
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