Contribution of mycorrhizal hyphae to the uptake of metal cations by cucumber plants at two levels of phosphorus supply.
Mycorrhizal fungus colonization of roots may modify plant metal acquisition and tolerance. In the present study, the contribution of the extraradical mycelium of an arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus, Glomus mosseae (BEG 107), to the uptake of metal cations (Cu, Zn, Cd and Ni) by cucumber (Cucumis sativus) plants was determined. The influence of the amount of P supplied to the hyphae on the acquisition and partitioning of metal cations in the mycorrhizal plants was also investigated. Pots with three compartments were used to separate root and root-free hyphal growing zones. The shoot concentration of Cd and Ni was decreased in mycorrhizal plants compared to non-mycorrhizal plants. In contrast, shoot Zn and Cu concentrations were increased in mycorrhizal plants. High P supply to hyphae resulted in decreased root Cu concentrations and shoot Cd and Ni concentrations in mycorrhizal plants. These results confirm that some elements required for plant growth (P, Zn, Cu) are taken up by mycorrhizal hyphae and are then transported to the plants. Conversely, Cd and Ni were transported in much smaller amounts by hyphae to the plant, so that arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus colonization could partly protect plants from toxic effects of these elements. Selective uptake and transport of plant essential elements over non-essential elements by AM hyphae, increased growth of mycorrhizal plants, and metal accumulation in the root may all contribute to the successful growth of mycorrhizal plants on metal-rich substrates. These effects are stimulated when hyphae can access sufficient P in soil.
Lee, Y.J.; George, E. 2005. Contribution of mycorrhizal hyphae to the uptake of metal cations by cucumber plants at two levels of phosphorus supply. Plant Soil 278 (1-2), 361-370.