Plant and Soil

, Volume 253, Issue 2, pp 311–319 | Cite as

Plant uptake of 14C-EDTA, 14C-Citrate, and 14C-Histidine from chelator-buffered and conventional hydroponic solutions

  • Paul F. Bell
  • M.J. McLaughlin
  • G. Cozens
  • D.P. Stevens
  • G. Owens
  • H. South


Chelator-buffered hydroponic solutions provide low and buffered free-metal concentrations and allow the easy calculation of nutrient species expected in these solutions. Some researchers suspect that the solutions allow plant uptake of chelates and that this uptake explains the failure of the free-ion activity model using these solutions. To determine the amount and method of chelate uptake, swiss chard was grown in solution culture in growth chambers for about three wks and then transferred to solutions containing 14C-EDTA, 14C-citrate, or 14C-L-histidine for a 21-hour assay. Much higher root and shoot 14C were found from treatments containing metabolites histidine (2706 097 shoot Bq 14C) or citrate (2241 953 shoot Bq 14C) than EDTA (280 110 shoot Bq 14C). Passive transpirational flow could explain all of the EDTA uptake, but active uptake would be required to explain most of the citrate and histidine uptake even assuming some adsorption of ligand bound to roots. Swiss chard grown in solutions with the same total EDTA concentrations, but different amounts of Fe bound to EDTA, had ≥3-fold differences in root and shoot 14C concentrations. In a second experiment, swiss chard roots removed more EDTA from solutions containing mostly M-EDTA0 than M-EDTA1- or M-EDTA2- (288 140, 245 051, and 192 559 Bq 14C, respectively) suggesting plant selectivity for EDTA and a non-apoplastic route of uptake or an effect resulting from root cell-wall adsorption. Results indicated buffering of metals by ligands allowed some ligand uptake with much more uptake occurring with metabolites citrate and histidine than EDTA. A passive or indiscriminate form of uptake does not appear to explain all EDTA uptake with a selectivity by swiss chard for M-EDTA complexes of lower charge.

free-ion activity model metal uptake nutrient solutions swiss chard transpirational flow 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul F. Bell
    • 1
  • M.J. McLaughlin
    • 2
  • G. Cozens
    • 2
  • D.P. Stevens
    • 2
  • G. Owens
    • 2
  • H. South
    • 2
  1. 1.Agronomy Dep.Louisiana State University and LSU AgCenterBaton RougeUSA
  2. 2.CSIRO Land and WaterGlen OsmondAustralia

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