Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

The effect of manganese-oxidizing bacteria and pH on the availability of manganous ions and manganese oxides to oats in nutrient solutions

  • 170 Accesses

  • 28 Citations


The uptake of Mn from manganous ions (Mn-ions) and pyrolusite (MnO2) by three week-old oat plants (Avena sativa L.) grown in nutrient solutions controlled at pH values between 6 and 8, was almost completely inhibited by suspensions of Mn- oxidizing bacteria over a three day uptake period.

‘Grey speck’ symptoms of Mn deficiency developed in oats grown for 10 days with Mn bacteria in a nutrient solution that had received 1 ppm Mn ions and was controlled at pH 6.3. Rape plants (Brassica napus L.) absorbed appreciable amounts of Mn from treatments similar to those that inhibited Mn uptake by oats.

Treatments which decreased or prevented biological oxidation of Mn ions favoured the uptake of Mn by oats from Mn ions, MnO2 and bacterial Mn-oxide. Acid conditions (pH 5.0) always increased Mn uptake. This was due in part to inhibition of bacterial oxidation and to an increase in the ability of the plants to obtain Mn from Mn oxides.

Uptake of Mn is explained on the basis of the rates of two opposing processes; the rate of release of Mn from oxides and the rate of biological oxidation of Mn ions. The results are discussed in relation to the availability of Mn in soils.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1

    Arnon, D. I., Microelements in culture-solution experiments with higher plants. Am J. Bot.25, 322–324 (1938).

  2. 2

    Barber, O. A. and Lee, R. B., The effect of microorganisms on the absorption of manganese by plants. New Phytol.73, 97–106 (1974).

  3. 3

    Barker, H. A. and Broyer, T. C., Notes on the influence of microorganisms on growth of squash plants in water culture with particular reference to manganese nutrition. Soil Sci.53, 467–477 (1942).

  4. 4

    Bromfield, S. M., The properties of a biologically formed manganese oxide, its availability to oats and its solution by root washings. Plant and Soil9, 325–337 (1958).

  5. 5

    Bromfield, S. M., Bacterial oxidation of manganous ions as affected by organic substrate concentration and composition. Soil Biol. Biochem.6, 383–392 (1974).

  6. 6

    Bromfield, S. M. and David, D. J., Sorption and oxidation of manganous ions and reduction of manganese oxide by cell suspensions of a manganese oxidizing bacterium. Soil Biol. Biochem.8, 37–43 (1976).

  7. 7

    Bromfield, S. M. and Skerman, V. B. D., Biological oxidation of manganese in soils. Soil sci.69, 337–347 (1950).

  8. 8

    Browman, M. A., Chesters, G. and Pionke, H. B., Evaluation of tests for predicting the availability of soil manganese to plants. J. Agric. Sci.72, 335–340 (1969).

  9. 9

    Cheng, B. T., Dynamics of soil manganese. Agrochimica17, 84–93 (1973).

  10. 10

    Cheng, B. T. and Ouellette, G. J., Manganese availability in soil. Soils Fert.34, 589–595 (1971).

  11. 11

    Cole, W. F., Wadsley, A. D. and Walkley, A., An X-ray diffraction study of manganese dioxide. Trans. Electrochem. Soc.92, 133–158 (1948).

  12. 12

    Fujimoto, C. K. and Sherman, G. D., The effect of drying, heating and wetting on the level of exchangeable manganese in Hawaiian soils. Am. Soc. Soil Sci. Proc.10, 107–112 (1945).

  13. 13

    Gerretsen, F. C., Manganese deficiency in oats and its relation soil bacteria. Ann. Bot. NS.1, 207–230 (1937).

  14. 14

    Hewitt, E. J., ‘Sand and Water Culture Methods used in the Study of Plant Nutrition’. Tech. Comm. No.22, Revised 2nd ed. Commonwealth Bureau of Horticulture and Plantation Crops, East Malling, Maidstone, Kent. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau, The Eastern Press Ltd., London (1966).

  15. 15

    Hoyt, P. B. and Nyborg, M., Toxic metals in Acid Soils: II. Estimation of plant available manganese. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Proc.35, 241–244 (1971).

  16. 16

    Jackson, M. L., ‘Soil Chemical Analysis advanced course’. Pub. by the author Dept. of Soils, Univ. of Wis., Madison 6, Wis. (1956).

  17. 17

    Jones, L. H. P. and Leeper, G. W., The availability of various manganese oxides to plants. Plant and Soil3, 141–153 (1951).

  18. 18

    Leeper, G. W., Forms and reactions of manganese in the soil. Soil Sci.63, 79–94 (1947).

  19. 19

    Leeper, G. W., Factors affecting the availability of inorganic nutrients in soils with special reference to micro nutrient metals. Annu. Rev. Plant Physiol.3, 1–16 (1952).

  20. 20

    Leeper, G. W. and Swaby, R. J., Oxidation of manganese compounds by microorganisms in soil. Soil Sci.49, 163–169 (1940).

  21. 21

    MacLachlan, J. D., Manganese deficiency in soils and crops: I. Control in oats by spraying; studies of the role of soil microorganisms. Sci. Agric.22, 201–207 (1941).

  22. 22

    Mann, P. J. G. and Quastel, J. H., Manganese metabolism in soils. Nature London158, 154–156 (1946).

  23. 23

    Mulder, E. G. and Gerretsen, F. C., Soil manganese in relation to plant growth. Adv. Agron.4, 222–272 (1952).

  24. 24

    Mulder, E. G., Lie, T. A. and Woldendorp, J. W., Biology and Soil Fertility in Soil Biology. Reviews of Research UNESCO Natural Resources Research IX Paris (1969).

  25. 25

    Piper, C. S., “Soil and Plant Analysis”. University of Adelaide, Adelaide, (1942).

  26. 26

    Timonin, M. I., Microflora of the rhizosphere in relation to the manganese deficiency disease of oats. Am. Soc. Soil Sci. Proc.11, 284–294 (1946).

  27. 27

    Van Veen, W. L., Biological oxidation of manganese in soils, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek J. Microbiol. Serol.39, 657–662 (1973).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Bromfield, S.M. The effect of manganese-oxidizing bacteria and pH on the availability of manganous ions and manganese oxides to oats in nutrient solutions. Plant Soil 49, 23–39 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02149905

Download citation


  • Manganese
  • MnO2
  • Nutrient Solution
  • Acid Condition
  • Manganese Oxide