Uptake of metals from uranium-rich phosphate rock was studied in Medicago truncatula plants grown in symbiosis with the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Glomus intraradices or in the absence of mycorrhizas. Shoot concentrations of uranium and thorium were lower in mycorrhizal than in non-mycorrhizal plants and root-to-shoot ratio of most metals was increased by mycorrhizas. This protective role of mycorrhizas was observed even at very high supplies of phosphate rock. In contrast, phosphorus uptake was similar at all levels of phosphate rock, suggesting that the P was unavailable to the plant-fungus uptake systems. The results support the role of arbuscular mycorrhiza as being an important component in phytostabilization of uranium. This is the first study to report on mycorrhizal effect and the uptake and root-to-shoot transfer of thorium from phosphate rock. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.