Transport of phosphorus (P) into host plants and its release to root cells is an important function of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). However, relatively little is known about the forms and water solubilities of P compounds in specific locations in the intraradical fungal structures. We determined concentrations and solubility of P components in these structures in white clover (Trifolium repens L.). Plants were grown in the field (colonised by indigenous AMF) or in the glasshouse (inoculated with Glomus intraradices). Mycorrhizas were cryo-fixed in liquid nitrogen immediately (control) or after treatments designed to destroy cell membranes and extract solubles. Thirty to 70% of total P in hyphae and 100% in arbuscules was not extracted. The unextracted proportion of P was higher in the inoculated plants suggesting an environmental effect. It is proposed that the large component of non-extractable P in the arbuscules is involved in the tight regulation of inorganic P release to the host cells. In control roots magnesium, potassium and P were present in hyphae in molar ratios 1 : 2 : 4, further evidence that this relationship may be universal for AMF, and that other P-balancing cations are present but undetectable by the analytical technique.