Carbon availability affects nitrogen source utilisation by Hymenoscyphus ericae

Gwen-Aelle Grelet, Andrew Alexander Meharg, Ian James Alexander

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19 Citations (Scopus)


We compared the ability of five strains of the ericoid mycorrhizal fungus Hymenoscyphus ericae to utilise glutamine, ammonium or nitrate at high or low carbon (C) availability. The pattern of intraspecific variation in growth was affected by C availability. When C supply was high, growth differences between strains were explained by the total amount of nitrogen (N) taken up, suggesting variation in uptake kinetics. Under C-limiting conditions, strain differences were linked with their nitrogen use efficiency, implying intraspecific differences in N metabolism. The relationship between growth on glutamine and pH shifts in the media indicated that there was intraspecific variation in glutamine transporters. In addition, the correlation between pH changes and the amount of glutamine-N recovered as ammonium in the media indicated that there were intraspecific variations within the enzymatic pathways involved in glutamine metabolism. Our findings, compared with those of a previous study involving the same ericoid strains, draw attention to the temporal variation in nitrogen source utilisation by ericoid mycorrhizal fungi when maintained in axenic culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-477
Number of pages9
JournalMycological Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005


  • ericoid mycorrhizal fungi
  • amino-acid-uptake
  • ectomycorrhizal fungi
  • paxillus-involutus
  • calluna-vulgaris
  • molecular diversity
  • woollsia-pungens
  • proteinase activity
  • organic nitrogen
  • read Korf


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