Cd and Zn interactions and toxicity in ectomycorrhizal basidiomycetes in axenic culture

  • De Oliveira V
  • Tibbett M
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© 2018 De Oliveira and Tibbett. Background. Metal contamination in soils affects both above- and belowground communities, including soil microorganisms. Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi are an important component in belowground community and tolerant strains have great potential in enhancing plant-based remediation techniques. We assessed cadmium and zinc toxicity in five ECM species in liquid media (Hebeloma subsaponaceum; H. cylindrosporum; H. crustuliniforme; Scleroderma sp.; Austroboletus occidentalis) and investigated the potential of Zn to alleviate Cd toxicity. Due to highly divergent results reported in the literature, liquid and solid media were compared experimentally for the first time in terms of differential toxicity thresholds in Cd and Zn interactions. Methods. A wide range of Cd and Zn concentrations were applied to ectomycorrhizal fungi in axenic cultures (in mg L-1): 0; 1; 3; 9; 27; 81; 243 for the Cd treatments, and 0; 1; 30; 90; 270; 810; 2,430 for Zn. Combined Zn and Cd treatments were also applied to H. subsaponaceum and Scleroderma sp. Dry weight was recorded after 30 days, and in case of solid medium treatments, radial growth was also measured. Results and Discussion. All species were adversely affected by high levels of Cd and Zn, and A. occidentalis was the most sensitive, with considerable biomass decrease at 1 mg L-1Cd, while Scleroderma sp. and H. subsaponaceum were the most tolerant, which are species commonly found in highly contaminated sites. Cd was generally 10 times more toxic than Zn, which may explain why Zn had little impact in alleviating Cd effects. In some cases, Cd and Zn interactions led to a synergistic toxicity, depending on the concentrations applied and type of media used. Increased tolerance patterns were detected in fungi grown in solid medium and may be the cause of divergent toxicity thresholds found in the literature. Furthermore, solid medium allows measuring radial growth/mycelial density as endpoints which are informative and in this case appeared be related to the high tolerance indices found in H. subsaponaceum




De Oliveira, V. H., & Tibbett, M. (2018). Cd and Zn interactions and toxicity in ectomycorrhizal basidiomycetes in axenic culture. PeerJ, 6, e4478.

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