Nitrous oxide production by the ectomycorrhizal fungi Paxillus involutus and Tylospora fibrillosa

Miranda T. Prendergast-Miller*, Elizabeth M. Baggs, David Johnson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Nitrous oxide (N2O) production by filamentous fungi has been demonstrated in pure culture and has been estimated indirectly in soils. However, it is unknown whether ectomycorrhizal fungi can also produce N2O. We demonstrate for the first time the ability of nitrogen (N)-tolerant ectomycorrhizal fungi (Paxillus involutus and Tylospora fibrillosa), found in forest soils under moderate to high rates of N deposition, to produce N2O from nitrate reduction. The N2O concentrations from the ectomycorrhizal fungal treatments after a 10-day pure culture experiment were 0.0117±0.00015 (P. involutus) and 0.0114±0.0003 (T. fibrillosa), and 0.0114±0.00043μmolN2OL-1 from a known fungal denitrifier (Fusarium lichenicola). No N2O was detected in the control treatment. Our results indicate the potential for these two N-tolerant ectomycorrhizal fungi to contribute to N2O production. Given that these species are abundant in many forest soils, the strength and regulation of fungal N2O production should now be verified in situ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-35
Number of pages5
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


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