, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 174–183 | Cite as

Alleviation effects of magnesium on copper toxicity and accumulation in grapevine roots evaluated with biotic ligand models

  • Bo-Ching Chen
  • Pei-Chi Ho
  • Kai-Wei Juang


Copper toxicity and accumulation in plants are affected by physicochemical characteristics of soil solutions such as the concentrations of coexistent cations (e.g., Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, Na+, and H+). The biotic ligand model (BLM) approach has been proposed to predict metal phyto-toxicity and -accumulation by taking into account the effects of coexistent cations, given the assumption of the partition equilibrium of metal ions between soil solution and solid phase. The alleviation effects of Mg on Cu toxicity and accumulation in grapevine roots were the main concerns in this study and were investigated by using a hydroponic experiment of grapevine cuttings. The BLM approach, which incorporated competition of Mg2+ with Cu2+ to occupy the biotic ligands on root surfaces, was developed to predict Cu rhizotoxicity and accumulation by grapevine roots. In the results, the effective activity of Cu, {Cu 2+}, resulting in a 50 % reduction of root elongation (EA 50), linearly increased with increments of Mg activity, {Mg 2+}. In addition, the Cu concentration in root, Cu root , was retarded by an increase of {Mg 2+}. The linear model was significantly fitted to the relationship between {Cu 2+}/Cu root and {Mg 2+}. According to the concept of BLM, the present results revealed that the amelioration effects of Mg on Cu toxicity and accumulation in roots could arise from competition between Mg2+ and Cu2+ on the binding sites (i.e., the biotic ligands). Then, the developed Cu-BLMs incorporating the Mg2+ competition effectiveness were validated provide accurate predictions of Cu toxicity and accumulation in grapevine roots. To our knowledge this is the first report of the successful development of BLMs for a woody plant. This BLM approach shows promise of being widely applicable for various terrestrial plants.


Terrestrial biotic ligand model (t-BLM) Rhizotoxicity Bioavailability Competition absorption Kyoho grapevine 



This research was sponsored by the National Science Council, Taiwan under Grant Nos. NSC 98-2313-B-451-004-MY3 and NSC 97-2313-B-415-009-MY3. We also thank the anonymous reviewers for providing many constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Post-Modern AgricultureMingDao UniversityPeetow, ChanghuaTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of AgronomyNational Chiayi UniversityChiayiTaiwan

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