Plant and Soil

, Volume 402, Issue 1–2, pp 27–45 | Cite as

Effects of individual and combined metal foliar fertilisers on iron- and manganese-deficient Solanum lycopersicum plants

  • Sandra Carrasco-Gil
  • Juan José Rios
  • Ana Álvarez-Fernández
  • Anunciación Abadía
  • José María García-Mina
  • Javier Abadía
Regular Article



Using Fe- and Mn-deficient Solanum lycopersicum plants, we investigated the effects of Fe and Mn foliar fertilisers, either individually or combined, on plant biomass, leaf chlorophyll and metal micronutrient levels in leaves and roots.


Plants were grown in hydroponics with different combinations of 0 or 45 μM Fe and 0 or 4.6 μM Mn. Foliar fertiliser formulations (9 mM FeSO4 and/or 3 mM MnSO4, supplemented with a surfactant) were applied in three consecutive doses. Fertilisation was applied to the first three leaf levels, while upper leaf levels were left untreated.


Iron and Mn deficiency led to characteristic symptoms. Foliar treatments increased concentrations of Fe and Mn, biomass and chlorophyll in treated leaves, although re-greening was incomplete. Approximately 11–12 % of the Fe increase was in roots (likely mediated via phloem transport), but no Fe increase occurred in untreated leaves. Regarding Mn, a 2 % increase occurred in untreated leaves, but no increase occurred in roots.


Iron fertilisation was effective not only in leaves treated with the fertiliser but also in roots, whereas Mn fertilisation had major effects on treated leaves and minor effects on untreated ones. The combined application of Fe + Mn was not detrimental to Fe- or Mn-deficient plants.


Foliar fertilisation Iron Manganese Multi-elemental fertilisers Tomato 





Ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid


Radical oxygen species


Soil–plant analysis development



This study was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (projects IPT-2012-0004-060000, AGL2012-31988 and AGL2013-42175-R, co-financed with FEDER) and the Aragón Government (group A03). We thank J.J. Peguero-Pina for his help in carrying out fluorescence measurements. J.J.R was supported by a JAEPost-CSIC contract. We appreciate the technical assistance of Marga Palancar for the AAS analysis.

Supplementary material

11104_2015_2759_Fig9_ESM.gif (238 kb)
Supplementary Figure S1

Application of foliar fertilisers in metal-deficient Solanum lycopersicum plants (GIF 238 kb)

11104_2015_2759_MOESM1_ESM.tif (1.6 mb)
High resolution image (TIFF 1.60 mb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Carrasco-Gil
    • 1
  • Juan José Rios
    • 1
  • Ana Álvarez-Fernández
    • 1
  • Anunciación Abadía
    • 1
  • José María García-Mina
    • 2
  • Javier Abadía
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Nutrition, Aula Dei Experimental StationConsejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)ZaragozaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Biology, Agricultural Chemistry and Biology, Group - CMI Roullier, Faculty of SciencesUniversity of NavarraPamplonaSpain

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