Heavy metal tolerance by ectomycorrhizal fungi and metal amelioration by Pisolithus tinctorius

Abstract

Five ectomycorrhizal fungi, Pisolithus tinctorius, Thelephora terrestris, Cenococcum geophilum, Hymenogaster sp. and Scleroderma sp., which were demonstrated previously to be capable of forming ectomycorrhizas with some pine, eucalypt and fagaceous tree species were grown in vitro in liquid cultures for 3 weeks at six different concentrations of nine heavy metals, aluminium, iron, copper, zinc, nickel, cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury. Measurements of mean mycelial dry weight yields indicated that the local isolates of Hymenogaster sp. and Scleroderma sp., as well as the introduced fungal species P. tinctorius, were able to withstand high concentrations of Al, Fe, Cu and Zn and might, therefore, have potential for revegetation schemes in metal-contaminated soils. The metal amelioration mechanism in the metal-tolerant fungal species P. tinctorius was observed to involve extrahyphal slime and, as demonstrated by energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry, was achieved by polyphosphate linkage of Cu and Zn.

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Tam, P.C.F. Heavy metal tolerance by ectomycorrhizal fungi and metal amelioration by Pisolithus tinctorius . Mycorrhiza 5, 181–187 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00203335

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Key words

  • Metal tolerance
  • Ectomycorrhizal fungi
  • Pisolithus tinctorius
  • Metal amelioration
  • Energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry