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Title: Response of jatropha on a clay soil to different concentrations of micronutrients

item EL-KADER, ABD - National Research Centre
item HUSSEIN, M.M. - National Research Centre
item Alva, Ashok

Submitted to: American Journal of Plant Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/16/2012
Publication Date: 12/18/2012
Citation: El-Kader, A., Hussein, M., Alva, A.K. 2012. Response of jatropha on a clay soil to different concentrations of micronutrients. American Journal of Plant Sciences. 3:1376-1381.

Interpretive Summary: Jatropha is an important biofuel feedstock that can be grown on marginal land with limited potential for production of food crops. Treated sewage water can be used to irrigate Jatropha since it is not a food or animal feed crop. The sewage water contains high levels of metal and micronutrients, therefore, it is important to know the response of Jatropha for varying concentrations of metals and micronutrients. Varying concentrations of iron, manganese, and zinc (i.e. 0, 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 ppm) were evaluated. The plant growth, photosynthetic pigments, and nutrient uptake by Jatropha plants responded favorably with an increase in the above metal concentrations up to 150 ppm. The response was negative with further increase in metals concentrations. This study provided evidence of tolerance of Jatropha for relatively high concentrations of metals, hence, treated sewage water irrigation may not have any negative effects on Jatropha growth.

Technical Abstract: In recent years Jatropha curcas L. has emerged as a biofuel crop with potential for its production in marginal land with application of treated sewage water. Since this is a new crop for its profitable cultivation, additional research is needed to develop optimal management programs, including macro and micronutrients applications. A pot experiment was conducted in a Green house at the National Research Center , Dokki, Cairo, Egypt, during 2010summer to evaluate effects of varying concentrations of iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), and zinc (Zn) in irrigation water (0 , 50, 100, 150, 200 and 250 ppm) on the growth, biomass production, photosynthetic pigments, and mineral nutrients status in the plants. Increasing concentrations of Fe, Mn, and Zn in irrigation water up to 150 ppm increased the biomass weight, photosynthetic pigments, and nutrient uptake by Jatropha plants. Further increase in concentrations of micronutrients showed negative effects on the above response parameters. Therefore, this study demonstrates that Jatropha can be grown under irrigation using waste water containing reasonable concentrations of micronutrients and heavy metals. This property of Jatropha provides some support for potential use of this crop for phytoremediation of metal contaminated soils. However, long term field research is needed to further verify both the above beneficial effects.