Publication Details

Reference Category Journals
DOI / URL link
Creative Commons Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Accumulation of germanium (Ge) in plant tissues of grasses is not solely driven by its incorporation in phytoliths
Author Kaiser, S.; Wagner, S.; Moschner, C.; Funke, C.; Wiche, O.
Journal Biogeochemistry
Year 2020
Department ANA
Volume 148
Issue 1
Page From 49
Page To 68
Language englisch
Keywords Germanium; Ge/Si ratio; Phytoliths; Poaceae; LA-ICP-MS
Abstract Ge/Si ratios of plant phytoliths have been widely used to trace biogeochemical cycling of Si. However, until recently, information on how much of the Ge and Si transferred from soil to plants is actually stored in phytoliths was lacking. The aim of the present study is to (i) compare the uptake of Si and Ge in three grass species, (ii) localize Ge and Si stored in above-ground plant parts and (iii) evaluate the amounts of Ge and Si sequestrated in phytoliths and plant tissues. Mays (Zea mays), oat (Avena sativa) and reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) were cultivated in the greenhouse on soil and sand to control element supply. Leaf phytoliths were extracted by dry ashing. Total elemental composition of leaves, phytoliths, stems and roots were measured by ICP-MS. For the localization of phytoliths and the determination of Ge and Si within leaf tissues and phytoliths scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) was used. The amounts of Si and Ge taken up by the species corresponded with biomass formation and decreased in the order Z. mays > P. arundinacea, A. sativa. Results from LA-ICP-MS revealed that Si was mostly localized in phytoliths, while Ge was disorderly distributed within the leaf tissue. In fact, from the total amounts of Ge accumulated in leaves only 10% was present in phytoliths highlighting the role of organic matter on biogeochemical cycling of Ge and the necessity for using bulk Ge/Si instead of Ge/Si in phytoliths to trace biogeochemical cycling of Si.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Kaiser, S., Wagner, S., Moschner, C., Funke, C., Wiche, O. (2020):
Accumulation of germanium (Ge) in plant tissues of grasses is not solely driven by its incorporation in phytoliths
Biogeochemistry 148 (1), 49 - 68