Multivariate analyses of microelement contents in wheat cultivated in Serbia (2002)
Microelements in soft winter wheat grain samples collected from all over Serbian wheat growing regions were analyzed quantitatively by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Microelement contents differed markedly among wheat samples harvested from various regions. The most frequently occurring pattern is Fe GT Mn GT Zn GT Cu GT Ph GT As GT Cd GT Hg. Principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA) were applied to classify the samples according to their microelement contents. Four PCs, explaining 84% of total variance, correlate well with the following elements: PC1 with Cu, Mn, and Zn content; PC2 with Pb and As; PC3 with Cd; and PC4 with Hg. Iron fails to load significantly on any PCs. Physical meaning of PCs could be attributed to metabolic processes in wheat, soil type, vicinity of industrial centers and busy motorways, and application of agrochemicals. (C) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.