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Tris(methylthio)methane Produced by Mortierella hyalina Affects Sulfur Homeostasis in Arabidopsis
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  • Yu-Heng Tseng,
  • Stefan Bartram,
  • Sandra Scholz,
  • Michael Reichelt,
  • Anja Meents,
  • Anatoli Ludwig,
  • Axel Mithöfer,
  • Ralf Oelmüller
Yu-Heng Tseng
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
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Stefan Bartram
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
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Sandra Scholz
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
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Michael Reichelt
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
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Anja Meents
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
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Anatoli Ludwig
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
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Axel Mithöfer
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
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Ralf Oelmüller
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
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Abstract

Microbial volatiles are important factors in symbiotic interactions with plants. Mortierella hyalina is a beneficial root-colonizing fungus with a garlic-like smell, and promotes growth of Arabidopsis seedlings. GC-MS analysis of the M. hyalina headspace and NMR analysis of the extracted essential oil identified the sulfur-containing volatile tris(methylthio)methane (TMTM) as the major compound. Its incorporation in seedlings was shown by 34S labeling experiment. Under sulfur deficiency, TMTM downregulated sulfur deficiency-responsive genes, prevented glucosinolate (GSL) and glutathione (GSH) diminishment, and sustained plant growth. However, excess TMTM led to accumulation of GSH and GSL and reduced plant growth. Since TMTM is not directly incorporated into cysteine, we propose that the volatile from M. hyalina influences the plant sulfur metabolism by interfering with the GSH metabolism, and alleviates sulfur imbalances under sulfur stress.