1School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW, 2006, Australia2Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa AL, 35487, USA
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The sources of minerals accessed by fungi in the Chytridiomycota (chytrid) in soil are largely unknown. The ability of ten species of soil chytrids to use various sources of phosphorus was examined in vitro. While all grew on orthophosphate, fifty per cent of isolates grew on phytic acid, and one isolate grew on DNA as the sole source of phosphorus. All isolates solubilised and utilised CaHPO4. Most isolates utilised hydroxyapatite when Symbol was the nitrogen source. When ammonium was omitted, 50% of isolates solubilised hydroxyapatite. Many soil chytrids may utilise phosphomonoesters as the sole source of phosphorus, and access to DNA appears limited. We suggest that the capacity to use different sources of phosphorus may influence the diversity of chytrids found in Australian soils.