Regulation of growth, nutrition, and symbiosis in plants

Molecular Plant-Microbe interactions, Plant Nutrition

In symbiotic interactions with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, the plant attracts the microbial partner with chemical signals. Once the fungus has reached the root surface, the plant helps it to invade and colonize epidermal cells. The mechanisms involved in intracellular accommodation of the endosymbiont, and in the elaboration of the symbiotic machinery remain elusive. 

In addition to its promotive mechanisms, the plant has also means to limit the extent of colonization by AM fungi if it is well supplied with nutrients, in particular with phosphate. We are taking a forward genetic approach to identify components involved in establishing and limiting AM symbiosis.

A second project addresses the integration of nutritional and biophysical mechanisms in the regulation of plant growth. Here we seek to identify the limiting components of growth in terms of mineral nutrient acquisition, photosynthesis and transport within the plant. This information is used to build mathematical models of resource partitioning and growth, and of the biophysics of cell expansion in plants.


Recent Publications

  • LCO Receptors Involved in Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Are Functional for Rhizobia Perception in Legumes
    Girardin, Ariane; Wang, Tongming; Ding, Yi; Keller, Jean; Buendia, Luis; et al.
    Current Biology,  DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.11.038, DEC 16 2019
  • VAPYRIN Marks an Endosomal Trafficking Compartment Involved in Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis
    Bapaume, L; Laukamm, S; Darbon, G; Monney, C; Meyenhofer, F; Feddermann, N; Chen, M; Reinhardt, D
    FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE, 10 10.3389/fpls.2019.00666 JUN 4 2019
  • Beneficial Services of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi - From Ecology to Application
    Chen, M; Arato, M; Borghi, L; Nouri, E; Reinhardt, D
    FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE, 9 10.3389/fpls.2018.01270 SEP 4 2018
  • Deregulation of MADS-box transcription factor genes in a mutant defective in the WUSCHEL-LIKE HOMEOBOX gene EVERGREEN of Petunia hybrida
    Schorderet, M; Muni, RRD; Fiebig, A; Reinhardt, D
    PLANT SIGNALING & BEHAVIOR, 13 (6):10.1080/15592324.2018.1471299 2018
  • An Automated Confocal Micro-Extensometer Enables in Vivo Quantification of Mechanical Properties with Cellular Resolution 
    Robinson, Sarah; Huflejt, Michal; de Reuille, Pierre Barbier; Siobhan A Braybrook; Martine Schorderet; Didier Reinhardt; Cris Kuhlemeier
    PLANT CELL, 29 (12): 2959-2973, 10.1105/tpc.17.00753 DEC 2017 Article (Details)
  • Role of the GRAS transcription factor ATA/RAM1 in the transcriptional reprogramming of arbuscular mycorrhiza in Petunia hybrida 
    Rich, Melanie K.; Courty, Pierre-Emmanuel; Roux, Christophe; Reinhardt, D.
    BMC GENOMICS, 18: 10.1186/s12864-017-3988-8  AUG 8 2017 Article (Details)
  • Diet of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi: Bread and Butter? 
    Rich, Melanie K.; Nouri, Eva; Courty, Pierre-Emmanuel; Reinhardt, D.
    TRENDS IN PLANT SCIENCE, 22 (8): 652-660 10.1016/j.tplants.2017.05.008  AUG 2017 Review (Details)
  • Insight into the evolution of the Solanaceae from the parental genomes of Petunia hybrida 
    Bombarely A, Moser M, Amrad A, Bao M, Bapaume L, Barry CS, Bliek M, Boersma MR, Borghi L, Bruggmann R, Bucher M, D'Agostino N, Davies K, Druege U, Dudareva N, Egea-Cortines M, Delledonne M, Fernandez-Pozo N, Franken P, Grandont L, J. S. Heslop-Harrison JS, Hintzsche J, Johns M, Koes R, Lv X, Lyons E, Malla D, Martinoia E, Mattson NS, Morel P, Mueller LA, Muhlemann J, Nouri E, Passeri V, Pezzotti M, Qi Q, Reinhardt D, Rich M, Richert-Pöggeler KR, Robbins TP, Schatz MC, M. Schranz E, Schuurink RC, Schwarzacher T, Spelt K, Tang H, Urbanus SL, Vandenbussche M, Vijverberg K, Villarino GH, Warner RM, Weiss J, Yue Z, Zethof J, Quattrocchio F, Sims TL & Kuhlemeier C
    NATURE PLANTS, 2 (6): 10.1038/NPLANTS.2016.74  JUN 2016  Article (Details)
  • The Petunia GRAS Transcription Factor ATA/RAM1 Regulates Symbiotic Gene Expression and Fungal Morphogenesis in Arbuscular Mycorrhiza 
    Rich, Melanie K.; Schorderet, Martine; Bapaume, Laure; Falquet Laurent; Morel Patrice; Vandenbussche Michiel; Reinhardt Didier
    PLANT PHYSIOLOGY, 168 (3): 10.1104/pp.15.00310  JUL 2015 Article (Details)
Didier Reinhardt

Prof. Dr. Didier Reinhardt
University of Fribourg
Department of Biology
1700 Fribourg

Tel: +41 (0)26 300 88 18

Research topics

  • Symbiotic signaling
  • Intracellular accommodation of endosymbionts
  • Nutritional regulation of growth and symbiosis



  • Mathematical modeling of growth
  • Sequencing of the petunia genome
  • Transcriptomic analysis of AM symbiosis in petunia