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Plant Physiology Index

Plants and Water
Floral Formulae
Photoperiodism
Seeds and their Germination

Topic Chapters Index

PLANT PHYSIOLOGY

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Mineral Nutrition in Plants

Macronutrients

 

Micronutrients or Trace Elements

C,H,O,N,P,S,K,Ca,Mg

Fe

Cu,Mb,Zn,B,Mn,Na,Cl

 

Others occasionally required: Al,Si,Ga,Co though Al is usually toxic

 

 

Element

Uptake

Use in the Plant

Deficiency Symptoms

Macronutrients

Nitrogen
(N)

NO3-
NH4+
(Amino acids, urea foliofertiliser)

Proteins,
nucleotides
porphyrins (Chlorophyll)
vitamins,
Hormones

Chlorosis (yellowing) beginning in lower leaves. Stunted growth
Anthocyanin production. Premature abscission and drying of the leaves

Potassium
(K)

K+

Enzyme activation,
osmotic control,
stomatal movement.

Affects practically all plant metabolism. Specifically: Mottled chlorosis in older leaves, necrotic spots, bronzing of younger leaves, short internodes, stunting

Phosphorus
(P)

PO43-
HPO42-
H2PO4-

Nucleotides, phosphorylation, buffering, ...

Metabolism in general

Slight yellowing,
rapid abscission

Calcium
(Ca)

Ca2+

Calcium pectate (cell wall),
membrane permeability,
spindle development at cell division.

Tip death - cell division stopped,
cells leaky.

Sulphur
(S)

 

SO42-

Proteins,
biotin,
thymine,
CoASH

As for N but in reverse it is immobile.

Magnesium
(Mg)

Mg2+

Chlorophyll

Extreme chlorosis, older leaves first - mobile

 

Iron
(Fe)

Fe2+
(some Fe3+)

Precursor of chlorophyll porphyrins

Extreme chlorosis, young leaves first - immobile.

TRACE ELEMENTS

Manganese
(Mn)

 

Enzyme activator

Similar to- K, no bronzing

Zinc
(Zn)

 

Synthesis of auxin, Enzyme activator

'Little leaf disease' Toxic in excess

Boron
(B)

H3BO3

Cell membrane transport

Similar to Ca

Copper
(Cu)

Cu2+

Enzyme activator

Tip death, stunting, premature abscission.

Molybdenum
(Mo)

Molibdate

Electron acceptor Nitrogen metabolism

Cauliflower whiptail disease

Sodium
(Na)

Na+

Synergistic with K

Nearly always present

Chorine
(Cl)

Cl-

Electron transport PS II

 

 

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