The influence of external phosphorus (P) on carbon (C) allocation and metabolism as well as processes related to P metabolism was studied in monoxenic arbuscular mycorrhiza cultures of carrot (Daucus carota). Fungal hyphae of Glomus intraradices proliferated from the solid minimal medium containing the colonized roots into C-free liquid minimal medium with different P treatments. The fungus formed around three times higher biomass in P-free liquid medium than in medium with 2.5 mM inorganic P (high-P). Mycelium in the second experiment was harvested at an earlier growth stage to study metabolic processes when the mycelium was actively growing. P treatment influenced the root P content and [(13)C]glucose administered to the roots 7 d before harvest gave a negative correlation between root P content and (13)C enrichment in arbuscular mycorrhiza fungal storage lipids in the extraradical hyphae. Eighteen percent of the enriched (13)C in extraradical hyphae was recovered in the fatty acid 16:1omega5 from neutral lipids. Polyphosphate accumulated in hyphae even in P-free medium. No influence of P treatment on fungal acid phosphatase activity was observed, whereas the proportion of alkaline-phosphatase-active hyphae was highest in high-P medium. We demonstrated the presence of a motile tubular vacuolar system in G. intraradices. This system was rarely seen in hyphae subjected to the highest P treatment. We concluded that the direct responses of the extraradical hyphae to the P concentration in the medium are limited. The effects found in hyphae seemed instead to be related to increased availability of P to the host root.