Influence of phosphate on the arsenic uptake by wheat (Triticum durum L.) irrigated with arsenic solutions at three different concentrations

Massimo Pigna, Vincenza Cozzolino, Antonio Violante, Andrew A Meharg

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In this study we have investigated the uptake and distribution of arsenic (As) and phosphate (P-i) in roots, shoots, and grain of wheat grown in an uncontaminated soil irrigated with solutions containing As at three different concentrations (0.5, 1 and 2 mg l(-1)) and in the presence or in the absence of P fertilization. Arsenic in irrigation water reduced plants growth and decreased grain yield. When P-i was not added (P-), plants were more greatly impacted compared to the plus P-i (P+) treatments. The differences in mean biomass between P- and P+ treatments at the higher As concentrations demonstrated the role of P-i in preventing As toxicity and growth inhibition. Arsenic concentrations in root, shoot and grain increased with increasing As concentration in irrigation water. It appears that P fertilization minimizes the translocation of As to the shoots and grain whilst enhancing P status of plant. The observation that P fertilization minimises the translocation of arsenic to the shoots and grain is interesting and may be useful for certain regions of the world that has high levels of As in groundwater or soils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-380
Number of pages10
JournalWater, Air and Soil Pollution
Issue number1-4
Early online date14 Aug 2008
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


  • arsenic
  • uptake
  • P fertilization
  • groundwater contamination
  • wheat
  • oryza-sativa l.
  • pteris-vittata l.
  • holcus-lanatus
  • silene-vulgaris
  • tomato plants
  • accumulation
  • tolerance
  • soil
  • growth
  • phosphorus

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