Aluminum toxicity is a major inhibitor in plant root growth on acidic soils. Plants have evolved defense mechanism in the root apex that counteract these metal cation harmful
effects, and allow plant growth. Aluminum tolerant species are known to secrete organic acids from the roots in the presence of the toxin. Aluminum triggers unique responses in the rhizosphere to
release ligands, such as citrate or malate for example that combine with aluminum to form metal-ligand complexes. This project involved developing new methods for characterizing and quantifying
aqueous metal-ligand complexes. The focus of this project was to first determine the binding capacity of aluminum to the resin. At a later date we will then add ligands to the system determining
the binding capacity of aluminum to the ligand. This will aid in a better understanding of how complex formations and organic acids control the behavior and toxicity of aluminum in the
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Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Cornell Center for Materials Research and the National Science Foundation