Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2016Peer reviewed

Fractionation and assimilation of Mg isotopes by fungi is species dependent

Fahad, Zaenab; Bolou-Bi, Emile B.; Köhler, Stephan; Finlay, Roger; Mahmood, Shahid


Symbiotic ectomycorrhizal fungi mobilize nutrients from both organic and inorganic substrates and supply them to their host plants. Their role in mobilizing base cations and phosphorus from mineral substrates through weathering has received increasing attention in recent years but the processes involved remain to be elucidated. We grew selected ectomycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal fungi in axenic systems containing mineral and organic substrates and examined their capacity to fractionate and assimilate stable isotopes of magnesium. The mycorrhizal fungi were significantly depleted in heavy isotopes with the lowest Mg-26 values (the difference between Mg-26 in fungal tissue and Mg-26 in the substrate) compared with nonmycorrhizal fungi, when grown on mineral substrates containing granite particles. The ectomycorrhizal fungi accumulated significantly higher concentrations of Mg, K and P than the nonmycorrhizal fungi. There was a highly significant statistical relationship between Mg-26 tissue signature and mycelial concentration of Mg, with a clear separation between most ectomycorrhizal fungi and the nonmycorrhizal fungi. These results are consistent with the idea that ectomycorrhizal fungi have evolved efficient mechanisms to mobilize, transport and store Mg within their mycelia.

Published in

Environmental Microbiology Reports
2016, Volume: 8, number: 6, pages: 956-965