, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 61-65

Do ecto- and ericoid mycorrhizal fungi produce peroxidase activity?

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 Several reports attest to the apparent ability of some ectomycorrhizal (ECM) and ericoid (ERM) mycorrhizal fungi to produce peroxidase enzyme activities during growth in axenic culture. In critically reviewing these data, we highlight that apparent peroxidase activities have been observed during growth in media containing 60–70 μM Fe. ECM and ERM fungi are known to produce H2O2 via carbohydrate oxidase activity and conditions in common culture media are favourable to the production of hydroxyl radicals, superoxide radicals and ferryl ions via the Fenton reaction. Free radicals so produced can mediate oxidation of substrates commonly used in presumptive peroxidase assays, leading to false-positive results. We argue that there is currently no evidence to support production of peroxidase activity by ECM or ERM fungi, but highlight circumstances in which peroxidase expression might be observed in future work.

Accepted: 16 July 1998