Arsenate resistance in the ericoid mycorrhizal fungus Hymenoscyphus ericae

J. M. Sharples, A. A. Meharg, S. M. Chambers, J. W G Cairney*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


• Differential resistance to arsenate (AsO4 3-) is demonstrated here among populations of the ericoid mycorrhizal fungus Hymenoscyphus ericae isolated from Calluna vulgaris in natural heathland soils and soils contaminated with AsO4 3-. • Isolates (c. 25) of the fungus from each of two As and Cu mine sites, and a natural heathland site, were screened for AsO4 3- and Cu2+ resistance by growing isolates in media containing a range of AsO4 3- and Cu2+ concentrations. • H. ericae populations from the mine sites demonstrated resistance to AsO4 3- compared with the heathland population; the mine-site populations producing significant growth at the highest AsO4 3- concentration (4.67 mol m-3), whereas growth of the heathland population was almost completely inhibited. EC50 values for mine-site isolates were estimated to be 5-41-times higher than the heathland population. All isolates produced identical responses to increasing Cu2+ concentrations, with no differences observed between mine-site and heathland isolates. • Populations of H. ericae on the contaminated mine sites have developed adaptive resistance to AsO4 3-. By contrast, Cu2+ resistance appears to be constitutive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-270
Number of pages6
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Arsenate
  • Calluna vulgaris
  • Copper
  • Ericoid mycorrhiza
  • Hymenoscyphus ericae
  • Metal tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry

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