OXALIC ACID SYNTHESIS BY THE MYCORRHIZAL FUNGUS PAXILLUS INVOLUTUS (BATSCH. EX FR.) FR.

Authors

  • F. LAPEYRIE,

    1. Department of Botany, Australian National University, GPO Box 4, Canberra City, A.C.T. 2601, Australia
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    • *I.N.R.A.—Centre de Recherches Forestières de Nancy—Champenoux, 54280 Seichamps, France.

  • G. A. CHILVERS,

    1. Department of Botany, Australian National University, GPO Box 4, Canberra City, A.C.T. 2601, Australia
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  • C. A. BHEM

    1. Department of Botany, Australian National University, GPO Box 4, Canberra City, A.C.T. 2601, Australia
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    • †Department of Zoology, Australian National University, GPO Box 4, Canberra City, A.C.T. 2601, Australia.


Summary

Oxalic acid produced by an isolate of the mycorrhizal fungus Paxillus involutus (Batsch. ex Fr.) Fr. in still broth culture was assayed using high-performance liquid chromatography. Production of oxalic acid per unit of mycelium was influenced by nitrogen source and concentrations of exogenous calcium and bicarbonate ions. Nitrate-grown mycelia produced large quantities of oxalic acid; ammonium-grown mycelia produced small quantities regardless of what other ions were present. Calcium concentrations between 10 and 50 meq 1−1 slightly enhanced oxalic acid production in the presence of nitrate; concentrations between 250 and 500 meq 1−1 depressed production. Small additions of bicarbonate ions substantially increased oxalic acids production when nitrate was present. When calcium was present, most of the oxalic acid was associated with the mycelium, probably as calcium oxalate. In the absence of calcium, most of the oxalic acid occurred free in the culture medium. It is concluded that in calcareous soils, bicarbonate and nitrate are more important than calcium in stimulating oxalate production. The significance and underlying mechanisms of oxalate production are discussed.

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