"Iron is hard to move from the soil into the plant because it has to dissolve in something, but it is notorious for its low solubility," says
The team will use a technique called scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM) to measure the molecular changes in iron oxides by their reactions with natural compounds. STXM uses a high-powered X-ray beam focused to about 30 nanometers, providing the researchers with nanoscale maps of the elements and their oxidation states.
"STXM is a tool that uses the very bright focused X-rays and is only available at a few places in
Overall, the researchers seek to determine the mechanisms of how iron mobilizes when particular molecules and elements are in place, with the theory that they are working together to speed up key processes in which the plant dissolves and absorbs the iron.
As part of the grant funding, the team plans to hold a one-day Soil-Water-Plant Summit next spring to foster additional interactions between the university's research strengths in environmental chemistry and in plant science.
Keywords for this news article include: Chemicals, Geochemistry, Washington University in
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