Oxalate and ferricrocin exudation by the extramatrical mycelium of an ectomycorrhizal fungus in symbiosis with Pinus sylvestris



  • • Accurate estimates of mycelial exudation in time and space are crucial for the assessment of ectomycorrhizal involvement in biogeochemical processes. Knowledge of exudation from mycelia of ectomycorrhizal fungi is still limited, especially for fungi in symbiosis with a host.
  • •  Pinus sylvestris seedlings colonized by Hebeloma crustuliniforme were grown in aseptic multicompartment dishes. This novel system enabled identification of exudates originating only from extramatrical mycelium. At harvest, hyphal density and numbers were estimated using microscopic imaging. A fractal geometric approach was adopted for calculation of exudation rates.
  • • The main compounds identified were oxalate and ferricrocin. The exudation rate for oxalate was 19 ± 3 fmol per hyphal tip h−1 (mean ± standard error of the mean) or 488 ± 95 fmol hyphal mm−2 h−1. Ferricrocin rates were approx. 10 000 times lower. The fractal dimension (D) of the mycelia was 1.4 ± 0.1, suggesting an explorative growth. Potassium nutrition was a significant regulatory factor for ferricrocin but not oxalate.
  • • The results suggest that hyphal exudation may alter the chemical conditions of soil microsites and affect mineral dissolution. Calculations also indicated that oxalate exudation may be a significant carbon sink.