Role of filamentous fungi in migration of radioactive cesium in the Fukushima forest soil environment†
The fate of radioactive Cs deposited after the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident and its associated radiological impacts are largely dependent on its mobility from surface soils to forest ecosystems. We measured the accumulation of radioactive Cs in the fruit bodies of wild fungi in a forest at Iitate, Fukushima, Japan. The transfer factors (TFs) of radioactive Cs from soil to the fruit bodies of wild fungi were between 10−2 and 102, a range similar to that reported for the fruit bodies collected in Europe after the Chernobyl accident and in parts of Japan contaminated by the nuclear bomb test fallout. Comparison of the TFs of wild mushroom and those of fungal hyphae of 704 stock strains grown on agar medium containing nutrients and 137Cs showed that the TFs of wild mushroom were lower. The TF was less than 0.1 after the addition of the minerals zeolite, vermiculite, phlogopite, smectite, or illite of 1.0% weight to the agar medium. These results indicate that the presence of minerals decreases Cs uptake by fungi grown on the agar medium, and filamentous fungi still accumulate radioactive Cs even when minerals are present in the medium.