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Science of the Total Environment
Vol. 359, No. xx, 2006; Pages: 255– 266

Distribution of radionuclides in different parts of a mushroom: Influence of the degree of maturity

Antonio Baezaa,*, Fco. Javier Guillena, Alejandro Salasa, Jose´ Luis Manjonb

Department of Physics, Veterinary Faculty, University of Extremadura, Avda de la Universidad s/n, 10071 Ca´ceres, Spain.


Mushrooms are known to be bioaccumulators of radionuclides, but little is known about their distribution within the fruiting bodies or the influence of the degree of maturity on uptake. We carried out a series of cultures of the species Pleurotus eryngii under controlled laboratory conditions to analyze these variables. The maximal uptake of 134Cs and 8585Sr was found to occur in mature fruiting bodies, and with the growth of the mushroom the distribution of radionuclides within the fruiting bodies became inhomogeneous. In particular, there was an exponential increase in the percentage of the total activity of 134Cs, 85Sr, and 60Co in the cap+gills as the fruiting bodies matured, accompanied by a complementary decrease in the stem. Radiocaesium, potassium, calcium, 239 + 240Pu, 234,238U, 228,230,232Th, and 226Ra were assayed in the cap, gills, and stem of fruiting bodies of Tricholoma equestre collected in a natural ecosystem and cultured P. eryngii. Potassium and radiocaesium were mainly located in the cap+gills, and 226Ra in the gills. There was a disequilibrium between 230,232Th and 228Th in the different parts of the fungi, probably due to uptake of 228Ra and subsequent decay to 228Th. Finally, the distribution pattern of239 + 240Pu, 234,238U, and 230,232Th seemed to be species dependent.

Keywords:Fungi, Uptake, Natural radionuclides, Man-made radionuclides,radiocaesium, Stable elements,Pleurotus eryngii,Tricholoma equestre,Potassium,radionuclides.

Corresponding author: Tel +34 927257153; fax +34 927257153

E-mail: ymiralle@unex.es (A. Baeza)


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