Article: Environmental microbiology

First evidences that the ectomycorrhizal fungus Paxillus involutus mobilizes nitrogen and carbon from saprotrophic fungus necromass¬†E Akroume, F Maillard, C Bach, C Hossann, C Brechet, N Angeli, B Zeller, …¬†Environmental microbiology


Fungal succession in rotting wood shows a surprising abundance of ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi during the late decomposition stages. To better understand the links between EM fungi and saprotrophic fungi, we investigated the potential capacities of the EM fungus Paxillus involutus to mobilize nutrients from necromass of Postia placenta, a wood rot fungus, and to transfer these elements to its host tree. In this aim, we used pure cultures of P. involutus in the presence of labelled Postia necromass (15N/13C) as nutrient source, and a monoxenic mycorrhized pine experiment also, composed of labelled Postianecromass and P. involutus culture in interaction with pine seedlings. The isotopic labelling was measured in both experiments. In pure culture, P. involutus was able to mobilize N, but C as well, from the Postia necromass. In the symbiotic interaction experiment, we measured high 15N enrichments in all plant and fungal compartments. Interestingly, 13C remains mainly in the mycelium and mycorrhizas, demonstrating that the EM fungus transferred essentially N from the necromass to the tree. These observations reveal that fungal organic matter could represent a significant N source for EM fungi and trees, but also a C source for mycorrhizal fungi, including in symbiotic lifestyle.