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X-ray absorption spectroscopy of copper and iron in sheep digesta

Clarkson, A. H.; Kendall, N. R.

X-ray absorption spectroscopy of copper and iron in sheep digesta Thumbnail


A. H. Clarkson


Background: The bioavailable supply of copper to ruminants has long been problematic. Complexities in supply exist due to interactions with other dietary elements in the rumen, most notably with iron or molybdenum in combination with sulphur, which can result in copper binding preventing its absorption. The molybdenum-sulphur-copper interaction has been extensively studied over the years. However, very little is known about the iron-sulphur-copper interaction, especially its mode of action in the gastrointestinal tract. Methods: In the present work digesta from the rumen and jejunum of sheep fed a high copper, sulphur and iron diet was analysed using X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). Results: X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) and X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) indicated that all of the copper and iron had changed in bonding in the rumen and that the oxidation state of the elements had been reduced into a mix of Fe2+ & Fe3+ and Cu+ with some Cu0. Conclusion: The copper compounds were most likely to be thiol co-ordinated in line with Cu+ chemistry. Changes to the copper compounds took place in the jejunum, although thiols were still highly favoured the possible existence of a copper-iron-sulphur complex which also included oxygen and chloride was also observed. This possibly has some resemblance to the crystal structure of bornite.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 25, 2022
Online Publication Date Apr 30, 2022
Publication Date Jul 1, 2022
Deposit Date Aug 16, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 1, 2023
Journal Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology
Print ISSN 0946-672X
Electronic ISSN 1878-3252
Publisher Elsevier BV
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 72
Article Number 126987
Keywords Inorganic Chemistry; Molecular Medicine; Biochemistry
Public URL
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