Biology Question #2972

Nabita, a 17 year old female from Montreal asks on October 12, 2005,

I just wanted to know if iron levels in a plant such as siverbeet can be increased by adding iron to a plant each week?

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The answer

Elizabeth Rogers, assistant professor of biochemistry, University of Missouri answered on October 15, 2005

You can raise the iron level in a plant by adding iron to the soil. But only up to a point. Any plant, a beet or anything else, will only take up as much iron as it needs. So if you start with a plant that's deficient for iron, that doesn't have enough, then you can increase the amount of iron inside the plant by fertilizing with iron. But once the plant has enough iron for its needs, then it won't take up any more. So making a plant that's a really good source of iron is a lot harder than just adding iron to the soil.

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