The Transfer of Cu, Zn, Mn and Fe between Soils and Allium Plants (Garlic and Onion), and Tomato in the Southwest of the Buenos Aires Province, Argentina


Chemical extraction methods are generally used to evaluate trace element concentrations in soils. The adequacy of these soil tests is commonly assessed by comparing the extraction results with the metal contents in the plants. In this study, soil and leaf samples were collected in the southwest area of the Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. Garlic (Allium sativum L.), onion (Allium cepa L.) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) are species of great regional economic importance. These crops need good mineral nutrition for optimum growth and sustainable production. Cu, Zn, Mn and Fe micronutrient uptake by plants was analyzed together with the trace element contents in the soil in which those plants were grown. A single EDTA-extraction procedure was performed to determine soil micronutrients. The amount of extractable-trace elements increased as the concentration of the chelating agent EDTA increased. The range of total element content in soil was: 15.68-31.5 mg·kg-1 for Cu, 75.0-386.3 mg·kg-1 for Zn, 542.5 -1686 mg·kg-1 for Mn and 28,325-32,675 mg·kg-1 for Fe. Micronutrient contents in mature leaf tissue were determined by the acid digestion method. Total and available micronutrient content in soil as well as total content in leaves were measured by flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS). Total micronutrient content and the available extractable-fraction in soils were below the critical values for plant growth. This was in agreement with the amount of micronutrients present in the leaf tissue. A strong relationship between the extraction data and the soil-plant transfer coefficients suggested an appropriate exchange of trace elements from soils to garlic, onion and tomato plants.

Share and Cite:

M. Moralejo and S. Acebal, "The Transfer of Cu, Zn, Mn and Fe between Soils and Allium Plants (Garlic and Onion), and Tomato in the Southwest of the Buenos Aires Province, Argentina," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 5 No. 4, 2014, pp. 480-487. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2014.54062.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] N. Manouchehri, S. Besancon and A. Bermond, “Major and Trace Metal Extraction from Soil by EDTA: Equilibrium and Kinetic Studies,” Analytica Chimica Acta, Vol. 559, No. 1, 2006, pp. 105-112.
[2] J. Kubová, P. Matús, M. Bujdós, I. Hagarová and J. Medved, “Utilization of Optimized BCR Three-Step Sequential and Dilute HCl Single Extraction Procedures for Soil-Plant Metal Transfer Predictions in Contaminated Lands,” Talanta, Vol. 75, No. 4, 2008, pp. 1110-1122.
[3] K. Hohda, H. Goda, K. Itoh, K. Samejima and T. Fukuuchi, “Aged Garlic Extract Reduces ROS Production and Cell Death Induced by 6-Hydroxydopamine through Activation of the Nrf2-ARE Pathway in SH-SY5Y Cells,” Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2013, pp. 31-40.
[4] A. Kabata-Pendías and H. Pendías, “Trace Elements in Soils and Plants,” 3rd Edition, CRC Press LCL, Boca Raton, 2001.
[5] O. Schramel, B. Michalke and A. Kettrup, “Study of the Copper Distributions in Contaminated Soils of Hop Fields by Single and Sequential Extraction Procedures,” The Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 263, No. 1-3, 2000, pp. 11-22.
[6] V. H. Kennedy, A. L. Sanchez, D. H. Oughton and A. P. Rowland, “Use of Single and Sequential Chemical Extractants to Assess Radionuclide and Heavy Metal Availability from Soils for Root Uptake,” Analyst, Vol. 122, No. 8, 1997, pp. 89R-100R.
[7] A. Sahuquillo, A. Rigol and G. Rauret, “Overview of the Use of Leaching/Extraction Tests for Risk Assessment of Trace Metals in Contaminated Soils and Sediments,” Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 22, No. 3, 2003, pp. 152-159.
[8] K. N. Wang, R. McSorley and R. N. Gallaher, “Relationship of Soil Management History and Nutrient Status to Nematode Community Structure,” Nematropica, Vol. 34, No. 1, 2004, pp. 83-95.
[9] R. Pardo, M. Vega, L. Debán, C. Cazurro and C. Carretero, “Modelling of Chemical Fractionation Patterns of Metals in Soils by Two-Way and Three-Way Principal Component Analysis,” Analytica Chimica Acta, Vol. 606, No. 1, 2008, pp. 26-36.
[10] M. Nieves-Cordones, M. A. Martínez Cordero, V. Martínez and F. Rubio, “An NH4+-Sensitive Component Dominates High-Affinity K+ Uptake in Tomato Plants,” Plant Sciences, Vol. 172, No. 2, 2007, pp. 273-280.
[11] S. G. Acebal, A. Mijovilovich, E. H. Rueda, M. E. Aguirre and C. Saragovi, “Iron-Oxide Mineralogy of a Mollisol from Argentina: A Study by Selective-Dissolution Techniques, X-Ray Diffraction, and Mössbauer Spectroscopy,” Clays and Clay Minerals, Vol. 48, No. 3, 2000, pp. 322-330.
[12] M. Blanco and G. Stoop, “Genesis of Pedons with Discontinuous Argillic Horizons in the Holocene Loess Mantle of the Southern Pampean Landscape, Argentina,” Journal of South American Earth Sciences, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2007, pp. 30-45.
[13] Soil Survey Staff-USDA, “Soil Taxonomy: A Basic System for Classifying Soils,” Agriculture Handbook, Vol. 436, 1999, p. 863.
[14] G. W. Gee and J. W. Bauder, “Particle-Size Analysis,” In: A. Klute, Ed., Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 1, Physical and Mineralogical Methods, American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America, Madison, 1986, pp. 399-403.
[15] M. E. Sumner and W. P. Miller, “Cation Exchange Capacity and Exchange Coefficients,” In: D. L. Spark, Ed., Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 3, Chemical Methods, Soil Science Society of America and American Society of Agronomy, Madison, 1996, pp. 1201-1229.
[16] M. D. P. Moralejo, “Complejantes Fosfónicos como Agentes de Extracción de Elementos Metálicos en Suelos,” PhD Dissertation, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Argentina, 2010.
[17] L. R. Hossner, “Dissolution for Total Elemental Analysis,” In: D. L. Spark, Ed., Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 3, Chemical Methods, Soil Science Society of America and American Society of Agronomy, Madison, 1996, pp. 49-65.
[18] E. Wieteska, A. Zióek and A. Drzewińska, “Extraction as a Method for Preparation of Vegetable Samples for the Determination of Trace Metals by Atomic Absorption Spectrometry,” Analytica Chimica Acta, Vol. 330, No. 2-3, 1996, pp. 251-257.
[19] M. A. Nkansah and C. Opoku Amoako, “Heavy Metal Content of Some Common Spices Available in Markets in the Kumasi Metropolis of Ghana,” American Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research, Vol. 1, No. 2, 2011, pp. 158-163.

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.