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Rapid and simple leaf tissue test for nitrate

, : Rapid and simple leaf tissue test for nitrate. Communications in Soil Science & Plant Analysis 17(12): 1299-1310

A simple and rapid procedure for the determination of nitrate in fresh leaf tissue, suitable for use by relatively untrained operators is presented. The method requires only 4 reagents and can be carried out in less than 20 min from start to finish. A 400 mg sample of fresh leaf tissue is macerated briefly with 5 drops of 10 N sulphuric acid, diluted with 10.0 ml of water and filtered. Nitrate-N is estimated on an aliquot of the filtered extract by reducing the nitrate to nitrite by shaking with powdered zinc in ammonium hydroxide solution for 3 min. The reduced mixture is allowed to settle (5 min) and an aliquot is withdrawn through a cotton-wool plug thus removing any particles of the zinc. The filtered aliquot is then reacted with a single colour reagent to yielid a pink azo-dye, the intensity of which is directly proportional to the amount of nitrate. The method was found to have a coefficient of variation of about 4%. When compared with the phenoldisulphonic acid method for nitrate, on aliquots of the some plant extract, it yielded values which were on average 94.6% of those obtained with the former method. The coefficient of variation between the methods was 7%.


DOI: 10.1080/00103628609367791

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