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The influence of different stresses on glomalin levels in an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus-salinity increases glomalin content.

  • Edith Hammer
  • Matthias C Rillig
Publishing year: 2011
Language: English
Publication/Series: PLoS ONE
Volume: 6
Issue: 12
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Public Library of Science

Abstract english

Glomalin is a glycoprotein produced by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, and the soil fraction containing glomalin is correlated with soil aggregation. Thus, factors potentially influencing glomalin production could be of relevance for this ecosystem process and for understanding AM fungal physiology. Previous work indicated that glomalin production in AM fungi may be a stress response, or related to suboptimal mycelium growth. We show here that environmental stress can enhance glomalin production in the mycelium of the AM fungus Glomus intraradices. We applied NaCl and glycerol in different intensities to the medium in which the fungus was grown in vitro, causing salinity stress and osmotic stress, respectively. As a third stress type, we simulated grazing on the extraradical hyphae of the fungus by mechanically injuring the mycelium by clipping. NaCl caused a strong increase, while the clipping treatment led to a marginally significant increase in glomalin production. Even though salinity stress includes osmotic stress, we found substantially different responses in glomalin production due to the NaCl and the glycerol treatment, as glycerol addition did not cause any response. Thus, our results indicate that glomalin is involved in inducible stress responses in AM fungi for salinity, and possibly grazing stress.


  • Biological Sciences


  • Microbial Ecology
  • ISSN: 1932-6203
Edith Hammer
E-mail: edith [dot] hammer [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Associate senior lecturer


+46 46 222 45 36

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Research group

Microbial Ecology



PhD students and postdocs

PhD students, main supervisor

Carlos Arellano


Kristin Aleklett