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PLoS One. 2016 Aug 12;11(8):e0160552. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0160552. eCollection 2016.

Cross-Species Extrapolation of Models for Predicting Lead Transfer from Soil to Wheat Grain.

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College of Natural Resources and Environment, Northwest A&F University, Key Laboratory of Plant Nutrition and the Agri-environment in Northwest China, Ministry of Agriculture, Yangling, China.


The transfer of Pb from the soil to crops is a serious food hygiene security problem in China because of industrial, agricultural, and historical contamination. In this study, the characteristics of exogenous Pb transfer from 17 Chinese soils to a popular wheat variety (Xiaoyan 22) were investigated. In addition, bioaccumulation prediction models of Pb in grain were obtained based on soil properties. The results of the analysis showed that pH and OC were the most important factors contributing to Pb uptake by wheat grain. Using a cross-species extrapolation approach, the Pb uptake prediction models for cultivar Xiaoyan 22 in different soil Pb levels were satisfactorily applied to six additional non-modeled wheat varieties to develop a prediction model for each variety. Normalization of the bioaccumulation factor (BAF) to specific soil physico-chemistry is essential, because doing so could significantly reduce the intra-species variation of different wheat cultivars in predicted Pb transfer and eliminate the influence of soil properties on ecotoxicity parameters for organisms of interest. Finally, the prediction models were successfully verified against published data (including other wheat varieties and crops) and used to evaluate the ecological risk of Pb for wheat in contaminated agricultural soils.

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