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

  • Phosphate Suppression of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis Involves Gibberellic Acid Signaling
    Nouri, Eva; Surve, Rohini; Bapaume, Laure; Stumpe, Michael; Chen, Min; et al.
    Plant And Cell Physiology  10.1093/pcp/pcab063 JUN 2021
  • VAPYRIN attenuates defence by repressing PR gene induction and localized lignin accumulation during arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis of Petunia hybrida
    Chen, Min; Bruisson, Sebastien; Bapaume, Laure; Darbon, Geoffrey; Glauser, Gaetan; et al.
    New Phytologist,  10.1111/nph.17109  MAR 2021
  • Silica nanoparticles enhance disease resistance in Arabidopsis plants
    El-Shetehy, Mohamed; Moradi, Aboubakr; Maceroni, Mattia; Reinhardt, Didier; Petri-Fink, Alke; et al.
    Nature Nanotechnology, 10.1038/s41565-020-00812-0, MAR 2021
  • Lineage-Specific Genes and Cryptic Sex: Parallels and Differences between Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Fungal Pathogens
    Reinhardt, Didier; Roux, Christophe; Corradi, Nicolas; Di Pietro, Antonio
    Trends In Plant Science,  10.1016/j.tplants.2020.09.006  FEB 2021
  • VAPYRIN-like is required for development of the moss Physcomitrella patens
    Rathgeb, Ursina; Chen, Min; Buron, Flavien; Feddermann, Nadja; Schorderet, Martine; et al.
    Development  DOI: 10.1242/dev.181762 Published: JUN 2020
  • 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
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