Fate of DTPA, EDTA, and EDDS in hydroponic media and effects on plant mineral nutrition

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Journal Article
Synthetic chelators are commonly used in hydroponic media to solubilize iron (Fe); however, the fate of these chelators is unknown. This study examined the persistence of three synthetic chelators, ethylenediaminetetraacetate (EDTA), diethylenetriaminepentaacetate (DTPA), and ethylenediaminedisuccinate (EDDS) in a bench-scale lettuce production system. The EDDS concentration decreased rapidly within 7d, most likely due to biodegradation. The EDTA and DTPA concentrations stayed steady throughout the experiments despite additions to maintain a constant volume and loss of chelator may have been due to either plant uptake or photodegradation of the chelator. Despite large differences in solution chemistry, the final shoot concentrations of iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn) were similar among chelator treatments, whereas root concentrations of these same elements were highly variable. The concentration of DTPA in a commercial lettuce production system was measured and highly variable concentrations were found. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Journal of Plant Nutrition