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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Selectivity of Liquid Membrane Cadmium Microelectrodes Based on the Ionophore, N, N, N', N'-Tetrabutyl-3,6-Dioxaoctanedithioamide

item Pineros, Miguel - CORNELL UNIVERSITY
item Kochian, Leon
item Bakker, Eric - AUBURN UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Electronanalysis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 29, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Heavy metal (Pb, Zn, Cd, Cu, Cr and Ni) contamination of soils poses serious problems to both human health and agriculture in the U.S. One of the primary sites of entry of toxic heavy metals such as cadmium (Cd) into the food chain is via uptake into plants, with deposition in the edible portions. Thus, it is important that we understand and characterize the absorption and accumulation of heavy metals in plants. Also, there is considerable current interest in using the ability of plants to absorb heavy metals from the soil as a way to clean up contaminated soils. Current engineering-based technologies used to remediate soils (e.g., removal of top soil for storage in landfills) are quite costly, and often dramatically disturb the landscape. Recently, there has been considerable interest focused on the use of terrestrial plants to absorb heavy metals from the soil and concentrate them in the easily harvestable shoot tissues as an alternative remediation technology. One limit to the development of this technology is our lack of understanding of heavy metal transport processes in plants. This lack of understanding, in turn, has been limited by a lack of research technologies to study these processes. In this paper, we report on the development of a new microelectrode that is very selective for the toxic metal Cd. It can measure Cd in solution to very low levels. We are using this microelectrode to study and map Cd uptake along plant roots. This microelectrode will allow us to conduct detailed investigations into plant Cd uptake that previously were not possible.

Technical Abstract:

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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