RIKEN-Cambridge Joint Crop Symbiosis Research Team

Main Research Fields :
Related Research Fields :
Agricultural sciences / Molecular biology / Cell biology / Plant nutrition/Soil science
Keywords :
Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis / Plant-fungal signalling / Spatial transcriptomics and proteomics / Genetic resource development (transformation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi)
Project :
Integrative Symbiological Solutions

FAME: Fungal signalling in Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Endosymbioses

Team Leader

Uta Paszkowski Ph.D.

Uta Paszkowski

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PhD, Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETHZ), Switzerland
Postdoctoral scholar, University of Basel, Switzerland
Staff Scientist, Torrey Mesa Research Institute, Syngenta, CA, USA
Junior group leader, Department of Plant Biology, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Lecturer, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK
Reader, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK
Professor, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK (-current)
Team Leader, RIKEN-Cambridge Joint Crop Symbiosis Research Team, RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (-current)


RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science
RIKEN-Cambridge Joint Crop Symbiosis Research Team


1-7-22 Suehiro, Tsurumi, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045 Japan
Central Research Building

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Symbioses are fundamental to life on Earth. The most ancestral association between plants and fungi emerged around 450 mya and is now so widespread among terrestrial plant species that it fundamentally supports global ecosystems, as well as crop productivity and sustainability. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi belong to the Glomeromycotina subphylum, and facilitate plant mineral uptake from the soil in exchange for plant-derived organic carbon. The establishment of functional symbioses relies on the fine-tuned orchestration of signals to achieve coordination of the two interacting organisms. While considerable understanding of plant signalling mechanisms has been gained in recent years, we know near to nothing about fungal signalling components. To close this gap in knowledge, we wish to reciprocally elucidate how the fungus undergoes reprogramming to engage with its host rice.
We will use ‘omics’ approaches to comprehensively characterise transcriptional and translational activities of different functional units of the fungal mycelium in asymbiosis and symbiosis; we also aim to establish a stable transformation protocols to enable functional studies of gene leads. The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae will be used as a genetically tractable, comparative root-fungal system.


  1. Signalling in plant-fungal interaction
  2. Spatial transcriptomics and proteomics
  3. Molecular genetics of fungal root invasion
  4. Transformation of arbuscular myocrrhizal fungi
Hyphae and spores of Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi