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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 41 No. 3, p. 531-534
     
    Received: May 28, 1976


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doi:10.2136/sssaj1977.03615995004100030020x

The Critical Zn2+ Concentration for Corn and the Nonabsorption of Chelated Zinc1

  1. A. D. Halvorson and
  2. W. L. Lindsay2

Abstract

Abstract

Corn (Zea mays) was grown in nutrient solutions of pH 5.2 and 7.5 with EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) and DTPA (diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid) as chelating agents. At pH 5.2, corn plants were healthy and fully green, but at pH 7.5, the nutrient solutions with DTPA produced severely stunted, Zn-deficient plants. Spraying the foliage with Zn or increasing the level of ZnSO4 added to the nutrient solution prevented Zn deficiency.

A concentration of 10−10.6 M Zn2+ was sufficient to prevent Zn deficiency with corn. Even at 105 times this concentration, chelated Zn was not absorbed by the roots. Equilibrium relationships of chelating agents in hydroponic solutions were extremely helpful in interpreting the results of this study.

The findings reported herein support the hypothesis that Zn2+ is the form of Zn absorbed by plant roots. Furthermore, plants can obtain adequate Zn from a nutrient media when Zn2+ is maintained at approximately 10−10.6 M. This concentration is nearly 4,000 times lower than the 10−7 M reported by Carroll and Loneragan. The hypothesis proposed herein is that chelation aids in the transport and movement of metal ions to plant roots, but only Zn2+ is absorbed.

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