Ferric Ethylenediamine-tetraacetic Acid Photodegradation in a Commercially Produced Soluble Fertilizer Affects Iron Uptake in Tomato

in HortTechnology
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  • 1 U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS, 2001 S. Rock Rd., Fort Pierce, FL 34945
  • | 2 Department of Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

Irradiating a ferric ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (FeEDTA)-containing commercially available soluble fertilizer with ultraviolet (UV) and blue radiation from high intensity discharge (HID) lamps caused the photooxidation of the FeEDTA complex, resulting in the loss of 98% of soluble iron. The loss of soluble iron coincided with the development of a precipitate that was mostly composed of iron. The effects of using an irradiated FeEDTA-containing fertilizer solution on plant growth and nutrition under commercial conditions were studied. Application of the irradiated fertilizer solutions to greenhouse grown tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum) resulted in lower levels of iron (6%) and zinc (9%), and higher levels of manganese (8%) and copper (25%) in leaf tissue compared to control plants that received a nonirradiated fertilizer solution. Leaf macronutrient levels (phosphorous, potassium, calcium, and magnesium), leaf dry weight, leaf number, and plant height was not affected by application of the irradiated fertilizer solution.

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to whom reprints should be addressed; e-mail jalbano@ushrl.ars.usda.gov.
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