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A Method for Analysis of Plant Tissue by Direct Reading Spark Emission Spectroscopy

Volume 28, Number 1 (Feb. 1974) Page 5-13

Chaplin, M.H.; Dixon, A.R.


A procedure was developed for the rapid quantitative determination of K, P, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Cu, B, and Zn content in plant tissue by direct reading emission spectrometry using spark excitation and the rotating disc electrode technique. Aliquots of standard reference material, ground to pass a 40 mesh screen, are weighed into high form porcelain crucibles and ashed at 450°C for 6 h. Five milliliters of an internal standard-buffer solution (0.2% cobalt and 0.5% lithium in 1 N HCl) are added to the remaining ash. The resulting solution is subjected to a 30-sec burn on the spectrometer, and the intensity ratios for each element are recorded. Known concentrations (X) and intensity ratio units (Y) are entered into a stepwise regression computer program, and the linear, quadratic, and cubic regressions of Y on X are determined. Sample values are entered as Y into the appropriate regression equation which is then solved for X. If quadratic or cubic regression equations are used, the program will select the appropriate root. Relative standard deviations for samples determined over a several-day period generally were less than 10%.