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Ractopamine uptake by alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and wheat (Triticum aestivum) from soil

Weilin L. Shelver, Thomas M. DeSutter
Journal of environmental sciences 2015 v.34 pp. 86-92
Medicago sativa, Triticum aestivum, adrenergic agonists, alfalfa, bioaccumulation, cattle, drug residues, greenhouse experimentation, growth promotion, organic matter, plant growth, plant tissues, polluted soils, soil pollution, swine, turkeys, wheat
Ractopamine is a beta adrenergic agonist used as a growth promoter in swine, cattle and turkeys. To test whether ractopamine has the potential to accumulate in plants grown in contaminated soil, a greenhouse study was conducted with alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and wheat (Triticum aestivum) grown in two soils having different concentrations of organic matter (1.3% and 2.1%), amended with 0, 0.5, and 10 μg/g of ractopamine. Plant growth ranged from 2.7 to 8.8 g dry weight (dw) for alfalfa, and 8.7 to 40 g dw for wheat and was generally greater in the higher organic matter content soil. The uptake of ractopamine in plant tissues ranged from non-detectable to 897 ng/g and was strongly dependent on soil ractopamine concentration across soil and plant tissue. When adjusted to the total fortified quantities, the amount of ractopamine taken up by the plant tissue was low, <0.01% for either soil.