Successful cultivation of crops with the finest nutritional properties is an issue of paramount importance in the agricultural and health fields and consequently determinant for a Sustainable Development.

Chlorosis is a plant disorder characterized by the yellowing of the leaves and occurs due to the absence of chlorophyll pigment of plants. The causes that may interfere in the production of chlorophyll are various and include nutrient deficiencies. Iron (Fe) is one of the nutrients most commonly associated with a poor production of chlorophyll and Iron Deficiency Chlorosis (IDC) is considered a serious environmental problem affecting the growth of several crops in the world. Soil or foliar application of synthetic Fe-chelates is one of the most common measures to correct IDC. The limited number of distinct Fe chelates that are used as fertilizers calls for the identification of new ligands capable of producing Fe-chelates with properties that allow more efficient pathways for root uptake, root to shoot translocation and maintenance of metal homeostasis.

We are currently working on a project (FerPlant) to design better vehicles to shuttle iron into plants, and to understand how these new Fe shuttles work in planta. To achieve this purpose, research is developed following three main vectors: (a) design of Fe-chelates (b) evaluation of Fe-chelate efficiency in a model plant soybean (Glycine max L.) and (c) investigation of the mechanisms of uptake and root-to-shoot translocation of the Fe-chelates at a physiological, biochemical and molecular level.


Effect of tris(3-hydroxy-4-pyridinonate) iron(III) complexes on iron uptake and storage in soybean (Glycine max L.) Santos, Carla; Carvalho, Susana; Leite, Andreia; Moniz, Tânia; Roriz, Mariana; Rangel, Antonio; Rangel, Maria; Vasconcelos, Marta, Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 2016, 106, 91-100.; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2016.04.050

(Fe)rrying Plants to Prevent Chlorosis, Maria da Conceição Rangel and Marta Vasconcelos, , Impact, Volume 2017, Number 11, December 2017, pp. 79-81(3), Science Impact Ltd.  (https://doi.org/10.21820/23987073.2017.11.79)

Maria da Conceição Rangel, Profile, SciTech Europa, Quarterly 26, pp 248-249 , 2018.



Maria da Conceição Rangel, View Point: “Project FerPlant-ferrying plants to prevent chlorosis”, SciTech Europa, Quarterly 27, pp 242-243, 2018 (https://www.scitecheuropa.eu/ferplant-project-ferrying-plants/85705/); http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pubname=&edid=9493e595-8c46-4052-82d7-243a5e107802.


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