Molybdenum isotope fractionation in plants measured by MC-ICPMS
A new method was developed for precise and accurate Mo isotope ratio measurements in plant materials by multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS). It is based on the use of anion-exchange chromatography to isolate Mo from concomitant matrix elements in sample digests, a desolvating Apex-Q sample inlet system as a means of Mo signal enhancement and on-line normalisation to an admixed internal standard (Pd) to correct for instrumental mass bias. Mo isotope ratios were determined in sample solutions with Mo concentrations as low as 10 ng g−1. The developed method was successfully applied to the determination of natural variations in the isotopic composition of Mo in different anatomical parts of plants. We show for the first time that Mo isotope fractionation can occur during long-distance transport of Mo in plants. Our data also show that the magnitude of Mo isotope fractionation during translocation of Mo is different for different plant species. Mo isotope ratio data obtained by MC-ICPMS can therefore be used as a sensitive probe of processes controlling transport and distribution of molybdenum in plants.