Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

Determination of 67Zn distribution in navy bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) after foliar application of 67Zn-lignosulfonates using isotope pattern deconvolution.

PMID 21732694


The improvement of Zn fertilizers requires new techniques to evaluate their efficacy. In this paper, the (67)Zn stable isotope was used as tracer of several Zn-lignosulfonate complexes to study the foliar-applied Zn uptake and distribution behavior in the plant, compared with ZnEDTA. Navy bean plants ( Phaseolus vulgaris L.) were grown hydroponically in a Zn-free nutrient solution, and six modified lignosulfonates and EDTA complexed with (67)Zn were used in foliar application in the young leaves as Zn sources. Zinc isotopes in roots, stems, and sprayed and unsprayed leaves were determined by ICP-MS, and signal interferences caused by the compounds of the digested vegetal samples were corrected. The mathematical procedure of isotope pattern deconvolution allowed the minimization of the uncertainty in the measured molar fractions of Zn from fertilizer or from natural sources. Significant differences in Zn use and distribution were observed among the fertilizers when the calculated concentrations of Zn from the fertilizer were compared, whereas they were unnoticeable attending to the total Zn in plant tissues, usually determined at the conventional studies. By foliar spray, higher Zn uptake and mobilization to leaves and stems were achieved with (67)ZnEDTA than with (67)Zn-LS complexes. The ultrafiltered LS and phenolated LS showed slightly better ability to provide Zn to the bean plants than the other LS. The foliar-applied Zn use and distribution in the plant were related with the stability of the Zn-lignosulfonates complexes. Those presenting the lower stability versus pH, but the highest complexing capacity, were slightly more suitable to supply foliar-applied Zn to navy beans.