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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 1999

Exudation-reabsorption in a mycorrhizal fungus, the dynamic interface for interaction with soil and soil microorganisms

Sun, Yu-Ping; Unestam, Torgny; Lucas, Steven D.; Johanson, Karl Johan; Kenne, Lennart; Finlay, Roger


The mycelium ofSuillus bovinusslowly absorbed [U-14C]glucose and other tracers from droplets placed on the cords, translocated them to the peripheral hyphae and exuded them into fluid drops on the hyphal tips. The exudate was characterized by1H NMR spectroscopy and by sugar and amino acid analysis. The exuded compounds were mainly carbohydrates and peptides. Acetic acid and oxalic acid were also present in the exudate along with a number of unidentified compounds. Released ions (K, Na, Cl, P, Mg and Ca) were identified by X-ray microanalysis. The mycelium was shown to reabsorb up to 65% of the exuded14C compounds in 2 days. Glucose, mannitol, glutamic acid (pH 3.2), and Rb+(as well as other mineral ions) were all readily absorbed by the mycelium, while oxalic acid at pH 4.2 and glutamic acid at pH 6.5 were not. Exudation of fluid droplets on the surface of the hydrophobic mycorrhizal fungusS. bovinusmay represent an ecophysiologically important function of the extramatrical hyphae, which provides an interface for interaction with the immediate hyphal environment and its other microorganisms where the peripheral hyphae exchange their photosynthetically derived products for nutrients to be used later by the pine host. We hypothesize that actively absorbed carbohydrates from the root are translocated to the peripheral hyphae along a concentration gradient of sugars and polyols by means of active translocation and diffusion in cell elements and by acropetal water transport in the cord vessels.


Exudation; Reabsorption; Mycelium-soil interface; Osmotic gradient pump; Carbon and water translocation

Published in

1999, volume: 9, number: 3, pages: 137-144

Authors' information

Sun, Yu-Ping
SLU - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Unestam, Torgny
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Mycology and Pathology
Lucas, Steven D.
Uppsala University
Johanson, Karl Johan
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Radioecology
Kenne, Lennart
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Chemistry
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Mycology and Pathology

UKÄ Subject classification

Soil Science

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