The effects of different temperatures and pH on the growth and solubilization of insoluble calcium phosphate, cobalt phosphate, manganese phosphate, strontium hydrogen phosphate and zinc phosphate by Rhizoctonia solani on solidified media were assessed. Solubilization of the metal phosphates was monitored by the production of a clear zone around or underneath the fungus. R. solani efficiently solubilized all five metal phosphates except cobalt phosphate when grown on medium at pH 7. Solubilization activity by R. solani decreased with increasing pH on medium containing calcium phosphate but increased on strontium hydrogen phosphate-amended medium. The uptake of metals by the mycelia was unaffected by the pH of the medium or the growth temperature. Small quantities of crystals were produced in the agar when R. solani was grown on calcium phosphate- and strontium hydrogen phosphate-amended media and these were identified as calcium or strontium sulphates respectively: there appeared to be little or no production of insoluble oxalates although a role for oxalate in the overall solubilization process cannot be discounted. These results are discussed in relation to their physiological and environmental significance, and the important roles of fungi in effecting transformations of insoluble metal-containing compounds in the environment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Plant Science