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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Rates of cuticular penetration of chelated Fe(III): role of humidity, concentration, adjuvants, temperature, and type of chelate.

Time courses of cuticular penetration of FeCl3 and Fe(III) complexes of citric acid, EDTA, EDDHA (Sequestrene 138Fe), imidodisuccinic acid (IDHA), and ligninsulfonic acid (Natrel) were studied using astomatous cuticular membranes (CMs) isolated from Populus x canescens leaves. At 100% relative humidity, the Fe(III) chelates disappeared exponentially with time from the surface of the CMs; that is, penetration was a first-order process that can be described using rate constants or half-times of penetration (t(1/2)). Half-times ranged from 20 to 30 h. At 90% humidity, penetration rates were insignificant with the exception of Natrel, for which t(1/2) amounted to 58 h. Rate constants were independent of temperature (15, 25, and 35 degrees C). Permeability decreased with increasing Fe chelate concentration (IDHA and EDTA). At 100% humidity, half-times measured with FeIDHA were 11 h (2 mmol L(-1)), 17 h (10 mmol L(-1)) and 36 h (20 mmol L(-1)), respectively. In the presence of FeEDTA, penetration of CaCl2 was slowed greatly. Half-times for penetration of CaCl2, which were 1.9 h in the absence of FeEDTA, rose to 3.12 h in the presence of an equimolar concentration of EDTA and 13.3 h when the FeEDTA concentration was doubled. Hence, Fe chelates reduced permeability of CMs to CaCl2 and to the Fe chelates themselves. It is suggested that Fe chelates reduced the size of aqueous pores. This view is supported by the fact that rate constants for calcium salts were about 5 times higher than for Fe chelates with the same molecular weights. Adding Tween 20 (5 g L(-1)) as a humectant did not increase permeability to FeIDHA at 90% humidity and below, while addition of glycine betaine did. Penetration of FeCl3 applied at 5 g L(-1) (pH 1.5) was not a first order process as rate constants decreased rapidly with time. Only 2% of the dose penetrated during the first 2 h and less than that in the subsequent 8 h. Recovery was only 70%. This was attributed to the formation of insoluble Fe hydroxide precipitates on CMs. These results explain why in the past foliar application of Fe compounds had limited success. Inorganic Fe salts are instable and phytotoxic because of low pH, while Fe chelates penetrate slowly and 100% humidity is required for significant penetration rates. Concentrations as low as reasonably possible should be used. These physical facts are expected to apply to stomatous leaf surfaces as well, but absolute rates probably depend on leaf age and plant species. High humidity in stagnant air layers may favor penetration rates across stomatous leaf surfaces when humidity in bulk air is below 100%.[1]


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