Interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizae and heavy metals under sand culture experiment

J. P. Liao, X. G. Lin*, Z. H. Cao, Y. Q. Shi, Ming Hung WONG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

130 Citations (Scopus)


A sand culture experiment was established to determine interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizae and heavy metals. Mycorrhizal infection rates, spore densities, maize root and shoot weights, and heavy metal contents in maize were as indexes of responses of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Acaulospora laevis, Glomus caledonium and Glomus manihotis) to heavy metals (Cu and Cd). The mycorrhizal infection rates of G. caledonium were the highest among these three mycorrhizal fungi, but the sporulating ability of G. caledonium was the poorest in the heavy metal treatments. The shoot and root weights of non-mycorrhizal plants were usually greater than those of mycorrhizal plants when the Cu concentrations in solutions are less than 3 mg l-1 or Cd concentrations less than 1 mg l-1. When Cd concentrations were 0.5 and 1 mg l-1, the root and shoot weights of plants inoculated with A. laevis were significantly (p < 0.05) lower than those of other treatments. Copper concentrations in shoots of mycorrhizal plants were higher than those of non-mycorrhizal ones at all Cu concentrations in solution, especially at low Cu concentrations. As to A. laevis, Cu concentrations in roots and shoots of the host were higher than those of non-mycorrhizal plants in these treatments. Thus A. laevis was sensitive to Cu and Cd, especially Cd, and G. caledonium was more tolerant to these two heavy metals. It is suggested that G. caledonium might be a promising mycorrhizal fungus for bioremediation of heavy metal contaminated soil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)847-853
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
  • Bioavailability
  • Cadmium
  • Copper


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