Agronomic iodine biofortification of leafy vegetables grown in Vertisols, Oxisols and Alfisols

Ligowe, Ivy Sichinga; Bailey, E.H.; Young, S.D.; Ander, E.L.; Kabambe, V.; Chilimba, A.D.; Lark, R.M.; Nalivata, P.C.. 2021 Agronomic iodine biofortification of leafy vegetables grown in Vertisols, Oxisols and Alfisols. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 43. 361-374.

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Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) in sub-Saharan African countries are related to low dietary I intake and generally combatted through salt iodisation. Agronomic biofortification of food crops may be an alternative approach. This study assessed the effectiveness of I biofortification of green vegetables (Brassica napus L and Amaranthus retroflexus L.) grown in tropical soils with contrasting chemistry and fertility. Application rates of 0, 5 and 10 kg ha−1 I applied to foliage or soil were assessed. Leaves were harvested fortnightly for ~ 2 months after I application before a second crop was grown to assess the availability of residual soil I. A separate experiment was used to investigate storage of I within the plants. Iodine concentration and uptake in sequential harvests showed a sharp drop within 28 days of I application in all soil types for all I application levels and methods. This rapid decline likely reflects I fixation in the soil. Iodine biofortification increased I uptake and concentration in the vegetables to a level useful for increasing dietary I intake and could be a feasible way to reduce IDD in tropical regions. However, biofortification of green vegetables which are subject to multiple harvests requires repeated I applications.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0269-4042
Date made live: 09 Dec 2020 14:42 +0 (UTC)

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