Waite Analytical Services (WAS) is a University based research support laboratory conducting state of the art elemental analysis, specialising in trace element analysis of plant material.
Located in the heart of one of the world's leading agricultural research precincts, Waite Analytical Services has developed proven methods that offer customers unrivalled accuracy in plant analysis.
Plant Tissue Analysis
Waite Analytical Services (WAS) has experience in analysing a wide
range of plant material, e.g. cereals and other broad-acre crops, pine,
eucalypt, macadamia and walnut tree samples, cereals, potatoes,
grapevine petioles, trunks and roots, grapes, grape juice, wine,
strawberries, apples, arabidopsis leaves and roots, seaweed and algae.
The Standard Plant Suite: Fe, Mn, B, Cu, Zn, S, Ca, Mg, P, K, and Na are routinely targeted using acid digestion and Radial View Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICPOES). Mo, Co, Ni, Cd, Al, Pb, & Se are reported but are often below the detection limit of the current instrument. Ti and Cr are now reported and these can help the researcher to determine if the sample may be contaminated by soil or grinders. WAS can measure very low levels of Mo, Co, Se, and Cd in plant tissue by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICPMS). These are elements of more interest to human and animal nutrition than to plant nutrition:
- Total N: is analysed by Complete Combustion Gas Chromatography
- Chloride: is analysed by Axial view ICPOES
Other Biological samples
The Standard Plant Suite method has been used to analyse the suite of elements in dolphin, koala, rat, fish and chicken tissue, human and animal blood and blood plasma, animal urine, and wool.
WAS has methods for measuring a limited number of elements e.g. in bone, and in buccal cells. Call the laboratory to discuss your particular needs. Developing new methods is on a cost-recovery basis.
Waite Analytical Services (WAS) takes part in the Plant Analysis Quality Assurance Program (PQAP) of the Australasian Plant and Soil Analysis Council (ASPAC). To view WAS' certified elements and to find out more about ASPAC, please visit the links page.
Standard Reference Materials (SRM's) from NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA) or from ASPAC are analysed with every batch of samples and a statistical analysis of the results reported along with research sample analysis results.
Key to Success
The key to WAS's success as a specialist trace element laboratory is the skill, experience, dedication and hard work of its long-term core staff. Producing high quality results for 40,000 to 50,000 samples a year requires constant vigilance. Monitor, review, revise is the WAS way of life. WAS staff is supported by the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine and the Food Group, and by a competent management board.