Phytotoxicity of iron in relation to its solubility conditions and the effect of ionic strength
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The effect of iron on root elongation and seed germination of Lactuca sativa was investigated within the limits of the plant's sensitivity to an acidic environment and iron solubility under experimental conditions. Because ionic strength was found to have phytotoxic effects, the same pH and ionic strength conditions were kept constant over the entire iron concentration range, so as to evaluate solely the effect of iron. 0.14 mM Fe3+ was found to be the lowest effective concentration inhibiting root elongation. The low solubility of iron at a pH of 3 (the lowest value which could be applied for root elongation) excluded the testing of higher iron concentrations. Due to the lower sensitivity of seed germination to acidity, a pH of 2.6 could be applied in this case. The lowest effective iron concentration (the lowest applied concentration causing a significant decrease in germination as compared to the control, P < 0.05), EC50 (the concentration at which germination was 50% of that of the control specimens) and the completely effective iron concentration (the concentration that completely inhibited seed germination) were 0.6, 0.92 and 2.0 mM, respectively.
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