Ectomycorrhizas - Extending the capabilities of rhizosphere remediation?

Andrew A. Meharg, John W G Cairney*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Citations (Scopus)


The potential of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) associations to facilitate clean-up of soil contaminated with persistent organic pollutants (POPs) is considered. Most ECM fungi screened for degradation of POPs (e.g. polyhalogenated biphenyls, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, chlorinated phenols, and pesticides) are able to transform these compounds. Mineralization of toluene, tetrachloroethylene and 2,4-dichlorophenol in intact ECM-association rhizospheres has also been demonstrated. We review and consider the likely mechanisms by which ECM fungi can transform pollutants, the extent to which these capabilities may be utilized practically in bioremediation, along with the potential advantages and disadvantages of using ECM associations in bioremediation. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1475-1484
Number of pages10
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Bioremediation
  • Mycorrhizas
  • Persistent organic pollutants
  • Phytoremediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Biochemistry
  • Ecology


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