Uptake of iron (59Fe)complexed to water-extractable humic substances by sunflower leaves
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A research was carried out to evaluate the leaves' ability to utilize Fe supplied as a complex with water-extractable humic substances (WEHS) and the long-distance transport of 59Fe applied to sections of fully expanded leaves of intact sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) plants. Plants were grown in a nutrient solution containing 10 μM Fe(III)-EDDHA (Fe-sufficient plants), with the addition of 10 mM NaHCO3 to induce iron chlorosis (Fe-deficient plants). Fe(III)-WEHS could be reduced by sunflower leaf discs at levels comparable to those observed using Fe(III)-EDTA, regardless of the Fe status. On the other hand, 59Fe uptake rate by leaf discs of green and chlorotic plants was significantly lower in Fe-WEHS-treated plants, possibly suggesting the effect of light on photochemical reduction of Fe-EDTA. In the experiments with intact plants, 59Fe-labeled Fe-WEHS or Fe-EDTA were applied onto a section of fully expanded leaves. Irrespective of Fe nutritional status, 59Fe uptake was significantly higher when the treatment was carried out with Fe-EDTA. A significant difference was found in the amount of 59Fe translocated from treated leaf area between green and chlorotic plants. However, irrespective of the Fe nutritional status, no significant difference was observed in the absolute amount of 59Fe translocated to other plant parts when the micronutrient was supplied either as Fe-EDTA or Fe-WEHS. Results show that the utilization of Fe complexed to WEHS by sunflower leaves involves an Fe(III) reduction step in the apoplast prior to its uptake by the symplast of leaf cells and that Fe taken up from the Fe-WEHS complexes can be translocated from fully expanded leaves towards the roots and other parts of the shoot.