Role of Mycorrhizal Fungi in the Alleviation of Heavy Metal Toxicity in Plants

  • Hamid AmirEmail author
  • Philippe Jourand
  • Yvon Cavaloc
  • Marc Ducousso
Part of the Soil Biology book series (SOILBIOL, volume 41)


Metal-rich soils, especially heavy metal-polluted soils and ultramafic soils, are generally toxic to non-adapted plants and microorganisms. The role of mycorrhizal fungi in the metal tolerance of adapted plant species has become clear in the last decade. This review aims to synthesize the findings of representative studies of the effects of mycorrhizas on the alleviation of heavy metal toxicity on plants and on the absorption/accumulation of heavy metals in their roots and shoots. The adaptation to heavy metals by mycorrhizal symbionts is associated with their efficiency in metal-rich soils. More than 80 % of the studies have indicated a positive role of mycorrhizal fungi in the adaptation of plants to heavy metals in these soils, but the relationships between plant tolerance to heavy metals and the absorption of metals are complex and depend on a range of biological, physical and chemical factors.


Heavy Metal Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Mycorrhizal Fungus Heavy Metal Concentration Heavy Metal Toxicity 
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.



We are grateful to Valerie Medevielle for her technical support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hamid Amir
    • 1
    Email author
  • Philippe Jourand
    • 2
  • Yvon Cavaloc
    • 1
  • Marc Ducousso
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire Insulaire du Vivant et de l’Environnement (LIVE), EA 4243Université de la Nouvelle-CalédonieNouméa CedexNew Caledonia
  2. 2.Laboratoire des Symbioses Tropicales et Méditerranéennes (LSTM), UMR 113 CIRAD/INRA/IRD/SupAgro/UMII, Centre IRDNouméa cedexNew Caledonia

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