Zinc phosphate transformations by the Paxillus involutus/pine ectomycorrhizal association

Marina Fomina, John M. Charnock, Stephen Hillier, Ian J. Alexander, Geoffrey M. Gadd (Lead / Corresponding author)

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38 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-333
Number of pages12
JournalMicrobial Ecology
Issue number2
Early online date19 May 2006
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006


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