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Biometals. 2009 Oct;22(5):835-41. doi: 10.1007/s10534-009-9230-7. Epub 2009 Mar 31.

Substrate role in the accumulation of heavy metals in sporocarps of wild fungi.

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Departamento de Producción Vegetal y Tecnología Agrícola, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, RD de Calatrava 7, Ciudad Real, Spain.


The distribution of neodymium, lead, thorium and uranium was investigated in about 100 samples of 12 different species of common, edible and non-edible mushrooms collected in unpolluted areas in the province of Ciudad Real, Central Spain. The quantitative analysis of heavy metals was performed by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (a simple, accurate and non-destructive method). The concentration of these elements was related to three factors: mushroom specie, life style/substrate and study area. The results reveal considerable amounts of the four metals in all species analyzed as well as significant differences on the capability to accumulate these elements. The maximum absorption of Nd and Pb was found in the ectomycorrhizal Cantharellus cibarius, reaching values of 7.10 and 4.86 microg g(-1), respectively. Thorium and uranium were mainly accumulated (3.63 and 4.13 microg g(-1), respectively) in Hypholoma fasciculare although it is an epiphyte species, isolated from the mineral particles of soil. The distribution patterns of these metals in sporocarps of different habitats and locations showed no significant differences, except for thorium, mainly accumulated in mushrooms living on wood regarding these living on soil organic matter. The species-specific is therefore the determining factor for accumulation of Nd, Pb, Th and U, more than substrate, in this study.

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