Journal of Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 315–323 | Cite as

Synthesis, Characterization, and Theoretical and Experimental Investigations of Zinc(II)–Amino Acid Complexes as Ecofriendly Plant Growth Promoters and Highly Bioavailable Sources of Zinc

  • Somayeh Ghasemi
  • Amir H. Khoshgoftarmanesh
  • Hassan Hadadzadeh
  • Majid Afyuni


Amino acids (AA) as metal complexing agents have the ability to form relatively stable complexes with zinc (Zn) and thereby increase its availability for plants. In this study, the complexes of Zn(II), [Zn(L–L′)2] [where L–L′ = monoanion of arginine (Arg), glycine (Gly), glutamine (Gln), histidine (His), and methionine (Met)], were synthesized and characterized by different analytical techniques. The results of elemental analysis support the formation of Zn(II)–AA complexes (ZnAAC) with a 2:1 ligand-to-metal molar ratio. The computational results indicated that the AA ligands coordinated to the Zn(II) ion via their nitrogen and oxygen atoms and support the coordination mode obtained from IR spectroscopy. For the first time, the semiempirical calculations were also performed to investigate the passive uptake of ZnAAC by root cells. The proposed transport pathway indicated that ZnAAC can pass via plant root cell wall pores without any strict hindrances. The efficacy of ZnAAC as a Zn source was evaluated for two lettuce cultivars (Lactuca sativa L., cvs. ‘Lollo Bionda’ and ‘Lollo Rossa’) grown in nutrient solution. The results confirmed the higher efficacy of ZnAAC in supplying Zn for lettuce in comparison with ZnSO4. The synthesized ZnAAC also had a stimulating effect on root and shoot growth of both lettuce cultivars. According to the results, ZnAAC can be used as ecofriendly plant growth stimulators and sources of Zn to supply plants with readily available Zn.


Zinc complex Amino acid Bidentate ligand Semiempirical PM6 Lettuce growth 



This research was financially supported by Support Box of Iranian Researcher (Project No. 88002077).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Somayeh Ghasemi
    • 1
  • Amir H. Khoshgoftarmanesh
    • 1
  • Hassan Hadadzadeh
    • 2
  • Majid Afyuni
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Soil Science, College of AgricultureIsfahan University of TechnologyIsfahanIran
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryIsfahan University of TechnologyIsfahanIran

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