Microbial Ecology

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 322–333 | Cite as

Zinc Phosphate Transformations by the Paxillus involutus/Pine Ectomycorrhizal Association

  • Marina Fomina
  • John M. Charnock
  • Stephen Hillier
  • Ian J. Alexander
  • Geoffrey M. GaddEmail author


In this research, we investigate zinc phosphate transformations by Paxillus involutus/pine ectomycorrhizas using zinc-resistant and zinc-sensitive strains of the ectomycorrhizal fungus under high- and low-phosphorus conditions to further understand fungal roles in the transformation of toxic metal minerals in the mycorrhizosphere. Mesocosm experiments with ectomycorrhizas were performed under sterile conditions with zinc phosphate localized in cellophane bags: zinc and phosphorus mobilization and uptake by the ectomycorrhizal biomass were analyzed. In the presence of a phosphorus source, an ectomycorrhizal association with a zinc-resistant strain accumulated the least zinc compared to a zinc-sensitive ectomycorrhizal association and non-mycorrhizal plants. Under low-phosphorus conditions, mycorrhizal seedlings infected with the zinc-resistant strain increased the dissolution of zinc phosphate and zinc accumulation by the plant. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure analysis of both mycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal roots showed octahedral coordination of zinc by oxygen-containing ligands such as carboxylates or phosphate. We conclude that zinc phosphate solubilization and zinc and phosphorus uptake by the association depend on ectomycorrhizal infection, strain of the mycobiont, and the phosphorus status of the matrix.


Mycorrhizal Fungus Ectomycorrhizal Fungus Zinc Phosphate Phosphorus Deficiency Zinc Accumulation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was funded by the BBSRC/BIRE program (94/BRE13640), BNFL, and CCLRC Daresbury SRS (SRS user grant 40107). We thank Dr. Jan Colpaert and Miss Kristin Adriaensen (Limburgs University Centre, Belgium) for the provision of fungal strains. We are very grateful to Dr. Lorrie Murphy and Dr. Fred Mosselmans (Stations 7.1, CLRC Daresbury SRS, UK) for their help with X-ray absorption spectroscopy and to Mr. Martin Kierans [Centre for High Resolution Imaging and Processing (CHIPs), School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Scotland] for assistance with cryo-scanning electron microscopy. We are also very grateful to Prof. John Raven FRS (School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee) for helpful discussions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marina Fomina
    • 1
  • John M. Charnock
    • 2
  • Stephen Hillier
    • 3
  • Ian J. Alexander
    • 4
  • Geoffrey M. Gadd
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Environmental and Applied Biology, Biological Sciences Institute, School of Life SciencesUniversity of DundeeDundeeUK
  2. 2.SRS Daresbury Laboratory, DaresburyWarringtonUK
  3. 3.Department of Plant and Soil Science, School of Biological SciencesUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK
  4. 4.Macaulay Institute, CraigiebucklerAberdeenUK

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