Improving Pesticide Uptake Modeling into Potatoes: Considering Tuber Growth Dynamics

Shenglan Xiao, Yishu Gong, Zijian Li*, Peter Fantke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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To explore pesticide uptake from soil into a growing potato, a moving-boundary dynamic model is proposed on the basis of the radical diffusion process of a chemical to a sphere. This model, which considers the logistic growth of the potato tuber, describes two hypothetical processes of chemical diffusion within a growing tuber. The model was tested in an illustrative case study for an application of chlorpyrifos. Results indicate that the distribution of chlorpyrifos concentrations along the potato radius is significantly affected by the tuber development. In comparison of our results to results from a classic model using a fixed boundary, the proposed dynamic model yields a quick and big jump for both the average concentration and bioconcentration factor (BCF) of chlorpyrifos in the potato as a result of the sigmoid expansion boundary. Overall, the dynamic model predicts that chlorpyrifos BCFs in the potato at harvest are higher than those using the classical model. In comparison of model results to measured uptake of chlorpyrifos into potato at harvest, the dynamic model shows better performance than the classical model. Our results provide a new perspective on pesticide uptake into potatoes and inform human health risk assessment for pesticides applied at different tuber growth stages.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)3607-3616
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Uptake model
  • Soil pollution
  • Crop contamniations
  • Diffusion process
  • Logistic growth


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