Pitfalls and Uncertainties of Using Potentiometric Titration for Estimation of Plant Roots Surface Charge and Acid-Base Properties


Amount and properties of roots surface charge are important for nutrient uptake and balance in plants. Roots surface charge markedly varies at different rizosphere conditions (particularly pH and ionic strength), which can markedly alter during vegetation season. Among recently available measuring methods, surface charge-pH dependence of roots (as well as other biological objects) is most easily evaluated by potentiometric titration. Use of this method is also easy at different ionic strengths. Potentiometric titration also allows for estimation of the distribution of charge generating surface groups. However, many applications of this method seem to be based either on incorrect methodical or theoretical approaches. In this paper we discuss the methodical and theoretical backgrounds of the titration method. Basing on experimental titration curves of roots of barley grown in nutrient solution, we show inconsistency of surface charge results obtained at different measuring conditions. Limitations of theoretical interpretations of the results are outlined also.

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Jozefaciuk, G. , Szatanik-Kloc, A. , Lukowska, M. and Szerement, J. (2014) Pitfalls and Uncertainties of Using Potentiometric Titration for Estimation of Plant Roots Surface Charge and Acid-Base Properties. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 5, 1862-1876. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2014.513200.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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