Review: Plant evolution driven by interactions with symbiotic and pathogenic microbes (Science)

One of the great questions in plant science has been, “How do plants recognize friend from foe?” Like most great questions, this one benefits from a historical perspective. In their new review, Delaux and Schornack look at plant evolution through the lens of plant interactions with symbiotic and pathogenic microbes. The first part of this comprehensive review covers the molecular underpinnings of plant-pathogen and plant-symbiont interactions, drawing on genomic data from the many available plant genomes from across the green lineage. Arbuscular mycorrhiza symbiosis is the most ancient plant intracellular symbiosis, and widely considered to have been crucial to enable plants to colonize land. Intercellular symbioses, in which cyanobacteria or fungi live between cells, has arisen repeatedly, but without a conserved molecular foundation. Although some plant-microbe genes are ancient and conserved, there are also many examples of convergent evolution in plant-microbe interactions. This review is an excellent update and resource. (Summary by Mary Williams @PlantTeaching) Science 10.1126/science.aba6605