Long-distance transport of pertechnetate in the moonflower (Ipomoea alba)

Simon Clarke, Suzy Rogiers, Geoffrey Currie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
44 Downloads (Pure)


The first research on the transport of metastable-technetium-99 (99mTc) in the form of pertechnetate (99mTcO4-) within plants suggested that 99mTcO4- may be mobile in the phloem. In contrast, more recent evidence indicates the anion is transported in the xylem. Here we demonstrate that observations of 99mTc transport in the test subject of these initial investigations, the moonflower (Ipomoea alba L.), are incompatible with phloem flow. Rather, the presence of only minute amounts of 99mTc in typical sinks for phloem solutes and 99mTc transport out of labeled leaves when shaded but not when illuminated strongly suggest that the radionuclide is transported in the xylem. The study increases confidence in the identification of 99mTcO4- as a xylem mobile compound whose distribution in plants can be visualized using nuclear medicine scintigraphic imaging techniques.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-58
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Environmental Radioactivity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


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