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Plant Physiol. 2000 Nov;124(3):1327-34.

Mechanism of arsenate resistance in the ericoid mycorrhizal fungus Hymenoscyphus ericae.

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  • 1Mycorrhiza Research Group, School of Science, University of Western Sydney, P.O. Box 10, Kingswood NSW 2747, Australia.


Arsenate resistance is exhibited by the ericoid mycorrhizal fungus Hymenoscyphus ericae collected from As-contaminated mine soils. To investigate the mechanism of arsenate resistance, uptake kinetics for arsenate (H(2)AsO(4)(-)), arsenite (H(3)AsO(3)), and phosphate (H(2)PO(4)(-)) were determined in both arsenate-resistant and -non-resistant H. ericae. The uptake kinetics of H(2)AsO(4)(-), H(3)AsO(3), and H(2)PO(4)(-) in both resistant and non-resistant isolates were similar. The presence of 5.0 microM H(2)PO(4)(-) repressed uptake of H(2)AsO(4)(-) and exposure to 0.75 mM H(2)AsO(4)(-) repressed H(2)PO(4)(-) uptake in both H. ericae. Mine site H. ericae demonstrated an enhanced As efflux mechanism in comparison with non-resistant H. ericae and lost approximately 90% of preloaded cellular As (1-h uptake of 0.22 micromol g(-1) dry weight h(-1) H(2)AsO(4)(-)) over a 5-h period in comparison with non-resistant H. ericae, which lost 40% of their total absorbed H(2)AsO(4)(-). As lost from the fungal tissue was in the form of H(3)AsO(3). The results of the present study demonstrate an enhanced H(3)AsO(3) efflux system operating in mine site H. ericae as a mechanism for H(2)AsO(4)(-) resistance. The ecological significance of this mechanism of arsenate resistance is discussed.

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