Arctic and temperate strains of Hebeloma spp. were grown in axenic culture on glutamic acid, alanine, lysine and NH4+ as sole sources of nitrogen (N), with excess carbon (C) or deficient C (supplied as glucose). Their ability to utilize seed protein as a natural N source was also assessed. All strains tested had the capacity to assimilate amino acids and generally utilized alanine and glutamic acid more readily than NH4+. Some strains were able to utilize amino C when starved of glucose C, and could mineralize amino-N to NH3-N. Arctic strains, in particular, appeared to be pre-adapted to the utilization of seed protein N and glutamic acid N, which is often liberated in high concentrations after soil freezing. The results are discussed in relation to their possible ecological importance.