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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 5, p. 702-706
    Received: Feb 21, 1969
    Accepted: June 23, 1969

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Weathering of Mica by Fungi1

  1. S. B. Weed,
  2. C. B. Davey and
  3. M. G. Cook2



Three trioctahedral micas and one dioctahedral mica (1–5µ size fractions) were used as sources of K+ for seven fungi grown in nutrient solution buffered at pH 6. Vermiculite formed from the mica. The mechanism involved was exchange of solution Na+ for mica K+, with the fungi functioning as K+-sinks. Reducing the concentration of solution Na+ from 0.054M to 0.017M resulted in decreased rate of utilization of mica K+. Growth of fungi and release of K+ were greater for trioctahedral micas than for the dioctahedral mica and generally followed the K+ ease-of-release pattern established using sodium tetraphenylboron and NaCl solutions. The fungi differed in their capacities to promote the mica-to-vermiculite transition, and this was probably due mainly to their relative effectiveness as K+-sinks.

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