Mycorrhizal induction of phenolic compounds and antioxidant properties of fungi and seedlings during the early steps of symbiosis uri icon


  • Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) symbiosis plays a major role in nutrient cycling and the functioning of forest ecosystems. Trees with well developed ectomycorrhizas are more resistant to environmental stresses such as drought and to biotic stresses such as root pathogens. The establishment of ECM symbiosis is triggered by signals produced by both partners. These signals lead to morphological changes and a complex development of specific structures in both the plant root and the fungus. The development of the ECM fungi, Paxillus involutus and Pisolithus arhizus, in presence and absence of the symbiont – Pinus pinaster- was evaluated, as well as their antioxidant properties and phenolic compounds composition in response to the symbiotic association. ECM fungi grew less in the presence of Pinus pinaster, with Pisolithus arhizus being less affected in growth and thus being more adapted to this association. Protocatechuic acid was found only in Paxillus involutus, while Pinus pinaster roots, both in association and isolated, proved to have other phenolic acids, such as p-hydroxybenzoic and p-coumaric acids. The symbiosis between Paxillus involutus and Pinus pinaster had no major effects on the symbionts, while the association between Pisolithus arhizus and Pinus pinaster seems to generally decrease the antioxidant effects of both symbionts, despite the increase in p-coumaric and cinnamic acids in the ECM fungi.

publication date

  • January 2011