Arsenate sensitivity in ericoid and ectomycorrhizal fungi

J M Sharples, A A Meharg, S M Chambers, J W G Cairney

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Isolates of the endomycorrhizal fungus Hymenoscyphus ericae and the ectomycorrhizal fungus Hebeloma crustuliniforme from soils uncontaminated with AsO43-, were compared with regard to their sensitivity to AsO43- in solution culture. When grown in liquid media amended with a range of AsO43- concentrations, H. ericae demonstrated reduced sensitivity Co AsO43- compared to H. crustuliniforme. The concentrations causing 50% inhibition of growth (EC50) were 1.33 mol/m(3) and 0.33 mol/m(3), respectively, for H. ericae and H. crustuliniforme. The compound AsO43- is a PO43- analogue for the plasmalemma PO43- transporter. The presence of PO43- in the media at high concentrations ameliorated the toxic effects of AsO43- in both the ericoid and ectomycorrhizal fungi. This could be due to: both suppression of the PO43- transporter under high phosporus status and competition of PO43- with AsO43- for the transport protein. The kinetics of AsO43- influx in H. ericae and H. crustuliniforme were also investigated. Hymenoscyphus ericae demonstrated a high K-m value, 0.071 mol/m(3), consistent with values obtained for AsO43--tolerant plants. We suggest that the high K-m value may be a mechanism used by H. ericae to express reduced AsO43- sensitivity. The ecological significance of this reduced sensitivity is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1848-1855
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1999


  • arsenate
  • phosphate
  • hymenoscyphus ericae
  • hebeloma crustuliniforme
  • sensitivity
  • holcus-lanatus L
  • phosphate-uptake system
  • cespitosa L beauv
  • pisolithus-tinctorius
  • mycorrhizal infection
  • metal resistance
  • in-vitro
  • tolerance
  • growth
  • transport


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