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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

Plants influence on arsenic availability and speciation in the rhizosphere, roots and shoots of three different vegetables

Bergqvist, Claes; Herbert, Roger; Persson, Ingmar; Greger, Maria


The toxicity of arsenic (As) in the environment is controlled by its concentration, availability and speciation. The aims of the study were to evaluate the accumulation and speciation of As in carrot, lettuce and spinach cultivated in soils with various As concentrations and to estimate the concomitant health risks associated with the consumption of the vegetables. Arsenic concentration and speciation in plant tissues and soils was analysed by HPLC, AAS and XANES spectroscopy. To estimate the plants influence in the rhizosphere, organic acids in lettuce root exudates were analysed by ion chromatography. The results showed that the As accumulation was higher in plants cultivated in soil with higher As extractability. Arsenate predominated in the soils, rhizosphere and root exudates of lettuce. Succinic acid was the major organic acid in lettuce root exudates. Ingestion of the tested vegetables may result in an intake of elevated levels of inorganic As.

Published in

Environmental Pollution
2014, volume: 184, pages: 540-546

Authors' information

Bergqvist, Claes
Stockholm University
Herbert, Roger
Uppsala University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Chemistry
Greger, Maria
Stockholm University

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences

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