Occurrence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) is common in contaminated soils; however, it has been reported that the presence of high concentrations of potentially toxic elements has a negative effect on the diversity of these fungi [3,4]. Moreover, the present literature contains contradictory results concerning effects of PTEs on mycorrhizal plants.
Some PTEs are mainly accumulated in root systems and some authors have suggested that AMF might be involved in this accumulation; however, the mechanisms of retention and allocation of PTEs have been largely ignored. In ericoid and ectomycorrhizal fungi, the binding of PTEs to the external mycelium has been proposed as a tolerance mechanism [5-8] that reduces metal translocation to the shoots, but the validity of this hypothesis had not been proved for AMF. Novel information stressing AMF's possible importance in contaminated soils is available. A better understanding of the processes involved in dealing with high concentrations of PTEs on mycorrhizal plants may have strong implications for the use of these fungi in the bioremediation of contaminated soils.
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