Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins

2013 Edition
| Editors: Robert H. Kretsinger, Vladimir N. Uversky, Eugene A. Permyakov

Aluminum in Plants

  • Charlotte PoschenriederEmail author
  • Juan Barceló
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1533-6_109



Aluminum is a chemical element with atomic number 13 and atomic weight 26.98. In acid environments Al solubility increases and Al ions can be taken up by plants.

Presence of Aluminum in Plant’s Life

Aluminum is an amphoteric element without any established biological function. Aluminum ranges third in abundance of the chemical elements in the lithosphere. In nature Al does not occur as free metal, but mainly in the form of only lightly soluble oxides and silicates. The availability of Al and, in consequence, the possibility of Al to interact with plants is mostly restricted to acid environments. In aqueous media with pH below 5, Al (H2O)63+ is the predominant monomeric Al species. This Al form, usually written simplified as Al3+, is thought to be the main toxic Al species (Kochian et al. 2004). In the chemically complex soil solutions different inorganic (e.g., fluoride, sulfate, silicon) and organic ligands (e.g., organic acids, phenolics, hydroxamates,...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lab. Fisiología VegetalFacultad de Biociencias, Universidad Autónoma de BarcelonaBellaterraSpain