, Volume 145, Issue 2, pp 237-243

The effects of cadmium and the cadmium-zinc interaction on the axenic growth of ectomycorrhizal fungi

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Eleven strains of ectomycorrhizal fungi belonging to seven species have been cultured on a cadmium-contaminated growth medium in order to determine their in vitro cadmium tolerance. Four strains were collected from a zinc and cadmium-polluted soil. Radial growth rate was a sensitive parameter to detect Cd toxicity. A wide differential response to Cd was obtained between the individual species. A clear relation between Cd tolerance and site origin of the isolates did not exist, although such a relationship was found when strains are compared within one species. Cd-sensitive and Cd-tolerant strains of Suillus bovinus were studied in more detail. Two isolates were grown on media with combinations of two non-toxic zinc concentrations and three cadmium levels. Adding a higher Zn concentration to the medium resulted in a reduction of the toxic effect of Cd. This antagonistic effect also resulted in a lowered Cd concentration in the mycelium.