Uptake and transport of Pb across the iron plaque of waterlogged dropwort (Oenanthe javanica DC.) based on micro-XRF and XANES

  • Jian Liu
  • Liqiang LuoEmail author
Regular Article


Background and aim

Iron plaque at the soil-root interface is a key position for uptake of heavy metals by plants. Exploring iron plaque’s role in Pb uptake by edible vegetable roots aids understanding Pb uptake mechanisms and developing methods to reduce Pb accumulation.


Soil and plant Pb contents were determined. Micro X-ray fluorescence (micro-XRF) determined Fe and Pb distributions in waterlogged and terrestrial Oenanthe javanica DC. roots, and X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES) identified Pb speciation in bulk soil, rhizosphere soil and plant tissues.


Waterlogged O. javanica accumulated more Pb and exhibited a higher Pb transfer factor than terrestrial O. javanica. In waterlogged O. javanica, the iron plaque and epidermis contained the most Fe, while the root vasculature contained the most Pb. In terrestrial O. javanica roots, Fe and Pb had similar distributions. Bulk and rhizosphere soils contained different Pb species, and rhizosphere soil had Pb-humate. For iron plaque, a new Pb complex, Pb-ferrihydrite, was identified. Biologically important groups bound (-S, -COO) and precipitated (-PO4) Pb were identified in plants.


Waterlogged O. javanica root iron plaque and humic acid increase Pb uptake and accumulation. Thus, avoiding O. javanica root iron plaque formation (dry land growth) and growing in low-humic soil reduce Pb uptake and entry into the food chain.


Vegetable Oenanthe javanica DC. Iron plaque Lead (Pb) Uptake 





micro X-ray fluorescence


X-ray absorption spectroscopy


X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy


Extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy


low-molecular-weight organic acids


X-ray fluorescence


Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility


inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry


inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy


humic acid


Hoagland’s nutrient solution



This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2016YFC0600603), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 20775018, 41877505 and 41201527), the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2007AA06Z124) and the Project of China Geological Survey (Grant No. DD20160340). The Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility is thanked for provision of beam time at beamlines 15 U1 and 14 W1. In addition, we thank associate Professor Yating Shen, Dr. Yuan Zeng and Dr. Xiaoyan Sun for their technical support during the experiments and data collection.

Compliance with ethical standards

Declarations of interest


Supplementary material

11104_2019_4106_MOESM1_ESM.docx (28 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 28.2 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Research Center of GeoanalysisBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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