Estimating the Toxicity and Biological Availability for Interaction Products of Metallic Iron and Humic Substances

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This article considers the influence that suspensions of nanoparticles (sized from 10 to 60 nm) of iron oxo-compounds in different oxidation states have on biological objects. The suspension is formed by the interaction of metallic iron with aqueous solutions of humic substances. Based on the example of green microalgae Scenedesmus quadricauda (Turp.) Breb., it is shown that suspensions that contain iron oxo-compound nanoparticles stabilized with humic substances at an iron concentration from 0.14 to 2036 µM do not have a toxic effect on microalgae. The availability of iron contained in the suspensions was evaluated in the experiment on sprouts of wheat Triticum aestivum L., which had been grown under iron-deficient conditions. The root uptake of the ionic form of iron contained in the suspension was confirmed. It is shown that the studied suspensions of iron nanoparticles stabilized by humic substances accumulate on the surface of plant roots. These suspensions are supposed to be a source of iron with prolonged action for plants.

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We are grateful to T.B. Egorova for analysis of the preparations by transmission electron microscopy.


This study was supported by the Russian Scientific Foundation, project no. 16-14-00167.

Author information

Correspondence to D. A. Pankratov or D. P. Abroskin or N. A. Kulikova or D. T. Gabbasova or D. N. Matorin or D. S. Volkov or I. V. Perminova.

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Conflict of interests. The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Statement on the welfare of animals. This article does not contain any studies involving animals performed by any of the authors.

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Translated by D. Zabolotny

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Anuchina, M., Pankratov, D., Abroskin, D. et al. Estimating the Toxicity and Biological Availability for Interaction Products of Metallic Iron and Humic Substances. Moscow Univ. Soil Sci. Bull. 74, 193–198 (2019) doi:10.3103/S0147687419050028

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  • humic substances
  • iron-containing nanoparticles
  • iron oxo-compounds
  • iron containing preparations
  • corrosion
  • evaluation of biological availability
  • toxicological evaluation