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Plant and Soil

, Volume 289, Issue 1–2, pp 239–252 | Cite as

Foliar Iron Fertilization of Peach (Prunus persica (L.) Batsch): Effects of Iron Compounds, Surfactants and Other Adjuvants

  • Victoria FernándezEmail author
  • Victor Del Río
  • Javier Abadía
  • Anunciación Abadía
Original Paper

Abstract

Experiments to assess the capability of different combinations of iron (Fe) compounds and adjuvants to provide Fe via foliar application to Fe-deficient plants have been carried out. A total of 80 formulations containing (1) one of five Fe-compounds [FeSO4·7H2O, Fe(III)-citrate, Fe(III)-Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), Fe(III)-Diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA), Fe(III)-Iminodisuccinic acid (IDHA)], (2) a surfactant (Mistol, alkyl-polyglucoside1 or alkyl-polyglucoside2), and (3) an adjuvant (glycerol, methanol or glycine–betaine) were studied with respect to leaf wetting ability and surface tension. From the initial formulations only 26 resulted in adequate leaf wetting, 20 with alkyl-polyglucoside2 and 3 each with Mistol and alkyl-polyglucoside1, and some of them (four with alkyl-polyglucoside2, one with Mistol, and three with alkyl-polyglucoside1) were found to have inadequate surface tension values for use as foliar fertilizers. In a second experiment, 20 formulations containing alkyl-polyglucoside2 and one each of the five Fe-compounds and adjuvants listed above, were used for a foliar experiment with Fe-deficient peach trees [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] grown under field conditions. Iron-deficient shoots were sprayed only once and leaf re-greening was assessed over 6 weeks for leaf chlorophyll content (via SPAD measurements) and percentage of green leaf area (via image analysis). Foliar Fe application always resulted in leaf Chl increases, although different degrees of re-greening were observed for the various Fe-compounds tested. Best results were obtained after treatment with formulations containing (in a decreasing order): Fe(II)-sulfate, Fe(III)-citrate, Fe(III)-EDTA, Fe(III)-IDHA, and Fe(III)-DTPA. A positive effect of adding glycerol, methanol or glycine–betaine was often observed, although the effect depended on each Fe-containing compound, indicating the existence of significant interactions between spray components. Results are of importance while trying to critically evaluate the potential of Fe sprays as a viable strategy to remedy plant Fe deficiency under field conditions.

Keywords

Foliar fertilization Foliar sprays Iron chelates Iron chlorosis 

Abbreviations

EDTA

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid

DTPA

Diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid

IDHA

Iminodisuccinic acid

Chl

Chlorophyll

RH

Relative humidity

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Education (Projects AGL2003-1999 and AGL2004-0194, co-financed with FEDER) and the Commission of European Communities (project Isafruit). V. Fernández was supported by a “I3P” post-doctoral contract financed by the CSIC, co-financed by the European Social Fund. We would like to thank L.M. Cerecedo (Centro Politécnico Superior, University of Zaragoza, Spain) and S. Jiménez-Tarodo for their support to carry out surface tension measurements and statistical analyses, respectively. Thanks are given to Lanxess and Cognis for providing free sample products for experimental purposes.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victoria Fernández
    • 1
    Email author
  • Victor Del Río
    • 1
  • Javier Abadía
    • 1
  • Anunciación Abadía
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Nutrition Department, Estación Experimental de Aula DeiConsejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)ZaragozaSpain

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