essential plant nutrients by dilip kumar chandra

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  1. 1. By Dilip Kumar Chandra
  2. 2. Introduction The element is involved directly in the nutrition of the plant quite apart from its possible effects in correcting some unfavourable microbiological or chemical condition of the soil or other culture medium. Essential plant nutrients A total of only 17 elements are essential for the growth and full development of higher green plants according to the criteria laid down by Arnon and Stout (1939). These criteria are: A deficiency of an essential nutrient makes it impossible for the plant to complete the vegetative or reproductive stage of its life cycle. Such deficiency is specific to the element in question and can be prevented or corrected only by supplying this element.
  3. 3. However, this list may not be considered as final and it is probable that more elements may prove to be essential in future. The chronology of discoveries of essential nutrient elements is given in Table (see next slide). Introduction The essentiality of most micronutrients for higher plants was established between 1922 and 1954. The essentiality of nickel (Ni) was established in 1987 by Brown et al., although there is no unanimity among the scientists as to whether Ni is essential or beneficial. Essential plant nutrients
  4. 4. Element Discoverer of Essentiality Year Carbon (C) Hydrogen (H) Oxygen (O) Nitrogen (N) Phosphorus (P) Potassium (K) Sulphur (S) Calcium (Ca) Magnesium (Mg) DeSaussure DeSaussure DeSaussure DeSaussure Ville von Sachs, Knop von Sachs, Knop von Sachs, Knop von Sachs, Knop 1804 1804 1804 1804 1860 1860 1865 1860 1860 (Glass, 1989; Marschner, 1997) Chronology of discoveries of essential nutrient elements for higher plants Essential plant nutrients
  5. 5. Element Discoverer of Essentiality Year Iron (Fe) Manganese (Mn) Copper (Cu) Zinc (Zn) Molybdenum (Mo) Boron (B) Chlorine (Cl) Nickel (Ni) von Sachs, Knop McHargue Lipman and MacKinney Sommer and Lipman Arnon and Stout Warington Broyer et al. 1860 1922 1931 1926 1938 1923 1954 1987 (Glass, 1989; Marschner, 1997) Chronology of discoveries of essential nutrient elements for higher plants Essential plant nutrients
  6. 6. Classification of essential plant nutrients Essential plant nutrients
  7. 7. Oxygen, carbon and hydrogen make up 95 percent of plant biomass, and the remaining 5 percent is made up by all other elements. Frame-work nutrient elements Carbon (C) and oxygen (O) are obtained from the gas CO2, and hydrogen (H) is obtained from water (H2O). These three elements are required in large quantities for the production of plant constituents such as cellulose or starch. Hence, many times referred as frame- work elements. Essential plant nutrients
  8. 8. Mineral nutrient elements The difference in plant concentration between macronutrients and micronutrients is enormous. The relative contents of N and molybdenum (Mo) in plants is in the ratio of 10,000:1. Plants need about 40 times more magnesium (Mg) than Fe. 14 elements are called mineral nutrients because they are taken up in mineral (inorganic) forms. They are traditionally divided into two groups, macronutrients and micronutrients, according to the relative amounts required. The 14 mineral elements are taken up by plants in specific chemical forms regardless of their source. Essential plant nutrients
  9. 9. Ca, Mg, and S are referred to as secondary nutrients and are also found in fertilizers and soil amendments. Macronutrients Macronutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulphur (S). The one or two letter symbol in parentheses is the universal chemical symbol for that nutrient. N, P, and K are often referred to as primary nutrients and are the most common elements found in commercial fertilizers. Essential plant nutrients
  10. 10. Micronutrients Micronutrients are required in relatively minute quantities and rarely limit plant growth in the environment. Note: Cobalt (Co), sodium (Na), vanadium (V) and silicon (Si) are sometimes called as beneficial plant nutrients. They are not required by all plants but appear to benefit certain plants. Cobalt is required for nitrogen fixation in legumes. Silicon is found in plant cell walls and appears to produce tougher cells. This increases the resistance of these plants to piercing and sucking insects and decreases the spread of fungal diseases. Micronutrients include iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), boron (B), copper (Cu), chloride (Cl), molybdenum (Mo), and nickel (Ni). Essential plant nutrients
  11. 11. Element Symbol mg/kg percent Relative number of atoms Nitrogen N 15,000 1.5 1,000,000 Potassium K 10,000 1.0 250,000 Calcium Ca 5,000 0.5 125,000 Magnesium Mg 2,000 0.2 80,000 Phosphorus P 2,000 0.2 60,000 Sulphur S 1,000 0.1 30,000 (Epstein, 1965; Epstein and Bloom, 2005) Typical concentrations of nutrient elements sufficient for plant growth Essential plant nutrients
  12. 12. Relative concentration of essential elements in plants Aluminium and manganese toxicity are the most frequent ones, in direct relation with acid soils. The concentration of different essential elements sufficient for plant growth are given in Table (Next slide). Some microelements can be toxic for plants at levels only somewhat higher than normal. In the majority of the cases this happens when the pH is low to very low. Essential plant nutrients
  13. 13. Element Symbol mg/kg percent Relative number of atoms Chlorine Cl 100 -- 3,000 Iron Fe 100 -- 2,000 Boron B 20 -- 2,000 Manganese Mn 50 -- 1,000 Zinc Zn 20 -- 300 Copper Cu 6 -- 100 Molybdenum Mo 0.1 -- 1 Nickel Ni 0.1 -- 1 Typical concentrations of nutrient elements sufficient for plant growth Essential plant nutrients (Epstein, 1965; Epstein and Bloom, 2005)
  14. 14. Classification of plant nutrients based on biochemical behaviour and physiological functions Group IV includes Fe, Cu, Zn and Mo. These elements are predominantly presented as chelates in the plant. Mengel and Kirkby (1987) have divided essential plant nutrients into four groups (pl. see Table on the next slide). Group I includes C, H, O, N and S, which are major constituents of the organic plant materials (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, etc.). Group II includes P and B, which are involved in biochemical reactions such as esterification. Group III includes K, Ca, Mg, Mn and Cl. These elements are present in the free ionic state or are adsorbed to indiffusible organic anions (e.g. absorption of Ca2+ by the carboxylic group of pectins). Essential plant nutrients
  15. 15. Group Nutrients Form in which taken up by plants Biochemical/physiological functions I C CO2, HCO3 - Major constituents of organic material, essential elements of atomic groups which are involved in enzymatic process, etc. H H2O O O2 N NH4 + , NO3 - , N2 (in fixation) S SO4 -2 , SO2 (gaseous absorption in leaves II P H2PO4 -1 , HPO4 -2 Esterification with native plant alcohol. Phosphate esters are involved in energy transfer.B B(OH)3 Classification of essential plant nutrients on the basis of biochemical and physiological functions in plants Essential plant nutrients
  16. 16. Group Nutrients Form in which taken up by plants Biochemical/physiological functions III K K+ Nonspecific functions, involved in establishing osmotic potential. Ca is a component of plant structural parts. Mg Mg+2 Ca Ca+2 Mn Mn+2 Cl Cl-1 IV Fe Fe+2 Present predominantly in a chelated form in prosthetic group, enable electron transport by valency change Cu Cu+2 Classification of essential plant nutrients on the basis of biochemical and physiological functions in plants Essential plant nutrients
  17. 17. Let Us Sum Up Plant nutrients can also be classified based on their biochemical behaviour and physiological functions in plants. Seventeen elements are considered as essential plant nutrients for higher plants. They are generally classified based upon their relative concentration in plants. They are also classified based upon their biochemical behaviour and physiological functions. Mineral nutrients (14) are taken up by plants in ionic forms. Essential plant nutrients