Phytotoxicity of the fluoride ion and its uptake from solution culture by Avena sativa and Lycopersicon esculentum

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Avena sativa (oats) and Lycopersicon esculentum (tomatoes) were grown in dilute nutrient solutions containing varying concentrations of fluoride (F). Shoot and root growth of tomatoes were limited when calculated F ion activities (F−) were greater than 1473 μM in solution. However, F− activities up to 5130 μm had no effect on the dry weights of oat shoots or roots, suggesting that tomatoes are more sensitive to F toxicity. At low F activities in solution (<1684 μM) F concentrations in plant shoots increased almost linearly with activity, but then increased rapidly before reaching an upper asymptote. These findings are discussed in relation to plant uptake and toxicity of F. The complexation of Ca with F has been proposed as the mechanism of selectively altering membrane permeability to F, but further studies are required to confirm the role of Ca. Data recalculated from the literature and from this paper also suggest that growth solution ionic strength is positively related to uptake of F− by plants.

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