EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Oxic transformation and translocation of ferrihydrite by fungal secondary metabolites

Gry Lyngsie
Gry Lyngsie
  • Roskilde University, Science and Environment, Environmental Dynamics, Roskilde, Denmark (

It has been established that brown-rot (BR) [1] and some ectomycorrhizal (ECM) [2] fungi use a non-enzymatic Fenton reaction (Fe2+ + H2O2 à Fe3+ + ∙OH) to decompose carbon. This Fenton reaction is driven by secondary metabolites, namely hydroquinones (H2Q), and to date studies of H2Q with redox reactive minerals have primarily been conducted under anoxic conditions and in batch setups. This approach introduces two shortcomings: Firstly, oxic iron(III) (oxyhydr)oxide (FeOOH) transformation and vertical translocation in the soil is ignored. Secondly, as the redox potential (EH) of FeOOH decrease as a function of increasing Fe2+ concentration in solution, the reductive dissolution stops when the EH of Q/H2Q is higher than EH of FeOOH/Fe2+[3]. It follows that in order to investigate the full potential of H2Q driven Fe mobilization an experimental setup, in which the solution is removed from the interface of the reaction, is needed. Consequently, this study will investigate the Fe mobilization potential of 2,6-dimethoxhydroquinone (DMHQ, a stable analogue to a common secondary metabolites produced by BR fungi) in a flow setup with continuous application of H2Q and removal of Fe2+ under oxic and natural relevant concentrations. A low-tech column set-up with synthesized ferrihydrite coated sand (1-0.5 mm) were supplied with 100 mL 20 µM DMHQ bi-daily over a three months period (50 times in all) and pH and Fe2+ concentration was monitored in the outlet. Before and after DMHQ application the coated ferrihydrite’s crystallinity was investigated with dithionite-citrate-bicarbonate and ammonium oxalate extractions. Results will be presented showing that DMHQ can reduce ferrihydrite and mobilize Fe2+ under oxic conditions and further that the ferrihydrite becomes increasingly crystalline, thus less reactive, after exposure to 100 µmol of 2,6-DMHQ. In light of the wide distribution of the Fenton reaction, with BR fungi dominating C sequestration in the boreal forest and ECM fungi being abundant in the boreal forest, eucalyptus forest and heathlands, these findings have interesting implications. Moreover, the results support that podsolization, i.e. the translocation of sesquioxides and soil organic matter associated with the above mentioned ecosystems, is linked to reductive dissolution of FeOOH by fungal secondary metabolites as previously suggested [4].

[1]             E. V Ier, K.E. Hammel, A.N. Kapich, K. a J. Jr, Z.C. Ryan, K. a Jensen, Reactive oxygen species as agents of wood decay by fungi, Enzyme Microb. Technol. 30 (2002) 445–453. doi:10.1016/S0141-0229(02)00011-X.

[2]             L. Qu, K. Makoto, D.S. Choi, A.M. Quoreshi, T. Koike, The Role of Ectomycorrhiza in Boreal Forest Ecosystem BT  - Permafrost Ecosystems: Siberian Larch Forests, in: A. Osawa, O.A. Zyryanova, Y. Matsuura, T. Kajimoto, R.W. Wein (Eds.), Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, 2010: pp. 413–425. doi:10.1007/978-1-4020-9693-8_21.

[3]             C.A. Gorski, R. Edwards, M. Sander, T.B. Hofstetter, S.M. Stewart, Thermodynamic Characterization of Iron Oxide–Aqueous Fe 2+ Redox Couples, Environ. Sci. Technol. 50 (2016) 8538–8547. doi:10.1021/acs.est.6b02661.

[4]             N. van Breemen, U.S. Lundström, A.G. Jongmans, Do plants drive podzolization via rock-eating mycorrhizal fungi?, Geoderma. 94 (2000) 163–171. doi:10.1016/S0016-7061(99)00050-6.

How to cite: Lyngsie, G.: Oxic transformation and translocation of ferrihydrite by fungal secondary metabolites, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9671,, 2022.