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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Correcting Micronutrient Deficiency Using Metal Hyperaccumulators: Alyssum Biomass As a Natural Product for Nickel Deficiency Correction

item Wood, Bruce
item Chaney, Rufus
item Crawford, Mark - NIPAN, LLC

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 16, 2006
Publication Date: August 1, 2006
Citation: Wood, B.W., Chaney, R.L., Crawford, M. 2006. Correcting micronutrient deficiency using metal hyperaccumulators: alyssum biomass as a natural product for nickel deficiency correction. HortScience. 41(5):1231-1234.

Interpretive Summary: Nickel and other micronutrient deficiencies are increasingly common in U. S. agriculture; plus, excessive heavy metal levels in certain soils present a major barrier to crop cultivation. It was shown that biomass from Alyssum species, a nickel hyperaccumulator, can be used to prevent or correct nickel deficiency in crops. The approach shows that hay from plants used to extract and reduce metal levels in soils can be used as a natural product fertilizer for correction of micronutrient disorders in agricultural crops.

Technical Abstract: The existence of nickel (Ni) deficiency in certain horticultural crops merits development of fertilizer products suitable for specific niche uses and for correcting or preventing deficiency problems before marketability and yields are affected. The efficacy of satisfying plant nutritional needs for Ni using biomass of Ni-hyperaccumulator species was assessed. Aqueous extraction of Alyssum murale (Waldst. & Kit.) biomass yielded a Ni enriched extract, that upon spray application, corrects and prevents Ni deficiency in pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch]. The Ni-Alyssum biomass extract was as effective at correcting or preventing Ni deficiency as was a commercial Ni-sulfate salt. Foliar treatment of pecan with either source at >10 mg'L-1 Ni, regardless of source, prevented deficiency symptoms whereas treatment at <10 mg'L-1 Ni was only partially effective. Autumn application of Ni to foliage at 100 mg'L-1 Ni during leaf senescence resulted in enough remobilized Ni to prevent expression of morphologically based Ni deficiency symptoms the following spring. The study demonstrates that micronutrient deficiencies are potentially correctable using extracts of metal accumulating plants.

Last Modified: 4/21/2015