The p-nitrophenyl phosphomonoesterase assay (pNPPase) is commonly used to measure cell-wall-associated and extracellular phosphatase activity of soil fungi. pNPPases are usually assayed in the context of fungal nutrition, where inorganic P supply might be enhanced by the mineralisation of monoester organic P sources in the soil. The importance of the assay to the P nutrition of soil fungi is considered based on the evidence currently available including the consistency of methodological approach. The nature of organic P in the soil and the relevance of the assay to some specific soil substrates is discussed, particularly the chemistry and bioavailability of myo-inositol hexakisphosphate and the lower inositol phosphates. The evidence for the long-term stability of pNPPases in the soil is examined in the light of the persistence of pNPPase in soils. The role of persistent extracellular fungal pNPPases in the soil P cycle is discussed. Conclusions from pNPPase based studies must be based upon an appreciation of the constraints of the assay and the complex chemistry of organic P and pNPPase in the soil.
|Publication status||Published - 2002|