Advances in diagnosis of iron deficiency in avocado

Alexander Neaman, Gonzalo Espinoza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Several methods for determination of extractable iron (Fe; or so-called "active Fe") have been proposed. In this study, three methods of Fe extraction were tested: 1.5% phenanthroline (pH 3) and 1 M hydrochloric acid (HCl) from fresh leaves, and 1 M HCl from oven-dry leaves. A six-year-old avocado orchard (cultivar 'Hass'), grown on a calcareous soil in the proximity of Cabildo (Valparaiso region, Chile), was selected for the study. Samples of mature (5-7 moths-old) leaves of different degree of chlorosis were collected. Total Fe concentrations in chlorotic leaves were similar or even greater than in green leaves. Regressions between the extractable Fe concentrations and the leaf SPAD-color were statistically significant for phenanthroline method, while non-significant for HCl methods. Thus, phenanthroline method was superior over others for diagnosis of Fe deficiency in avocado. Phenanthroline-extractable Fe concentration of 6 mg kg-1 was considered as a critical value for mature avocado leaves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-45
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Plant Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Active iron
  • Calcareous soils
  • Chile
  • Extractable iron
  • Iron chlorosis
  • Phenanthroline


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