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Deficiency symptoms of potassium


1. Plant becomes stunted in growth with shortening of internodes and busy in appearance.

2. K deficiency in plants show reduced rate of photosynthesis.

3. In Rice the leave tips will dark brown in colour and blades will blueish green, chlorotic and necrotic are seen.


Potassium (K)

The potassium ion (K+) is actively taken up soil solution by plant roots.

The concentration of K+in vegetative tissue ranges from 1 to 4% on dry matter basis.

Functions of potassium:

1. Essential for photosynthesis, development of chlorophyll.

2. It improves vigour of the plants to enable to with stand adverse climatic conditions.

3. Reduces lodging in cereal crops.

4. It regulates stomata opening and closing.

5. It regulates the movement of ions within the plants and hence it is called traffic policeman of the plant.

6. Activation of enzymes, enzyme synthesis, peptide bonds synthesis.

7. Regulates H2O imbalance within the plant.


Deficiency and Toxicity Symptoms of Phosphorus

Deficiency symptoms :

1. P is mobile in plants and when a deficiency occurs it is translocated from older tissues to the active meristematic regions.

2. It arrests metabolism resulting in reduction of total N of plants.

3. Premature leaf fall.

4. Develops necrotic area on the leaf petiole and in the fruit .

5. Leaves will show characteristic bluish green colour.

Toxicity symptoms:

1. Profuse root growth i.e. lateral and fibrous root lets.

2. It develops normal growth having green leaf colour.

3. It may cause in some cases trace elements deficiencies i.e. Zinc and Iron.


Phosphorus (P)

1. Phosphorus occurs in most plants in concentrations between 0.1 and 0.4%.

2. Plants absorb either H2 PO2- or H + PO42- ortho PO4 ions Absorption of H2 PO2- is greatest at low pH values, where as uptake of HPO4- is greater at higher values of soil pH, plant uptake of HPO4- is much slower than H2 PO4-.

Functions of Phosphorus

- It has a greater role in energy storage and transfer.

- It is a constituent of nucleic acid, phytin and phospholipids.

- It is essential for cell division and development .

- P compounds act as energy currency within plants. The most common P energy currency is that found in ADP and ATP. Transfer of the energy rich PO4 molecules from ATP to energy requiring substances in the plant is known as “Phosphorylation”. It stimulates early root development and growth and there by helps to establish seedlings quickly.

- It gives rapid and vigorous start to plants strengthen’s straw and decreasess lodging tendency.

- It is essential for seed formation because larger quantities of P is found in seed and fruit- phytic acid is the principle storage from of phosphorus in seeds.

- It increases the activity of Rhizobia and increases the formation of root nodules.


Deficiency of Nitrogen


1. Plants are stunted and yellow in appearance.

2. The loss of protein N from chloroplasts. In older leaves produces the yellowing or chlorosis.

3. It appears first on the lower leaves, the upper leaves remain green, while under severe N deficiency lower leaves will turn brown and die.

4. The necrosis begins at the leaf tip and progress along the midrib until the leaf is dead.


Nitrogen (N)

1. The cheap source of N is the crop residues in temperate region the soil N occurs at 2.6 tonnes / ha.

2. In acid tropical soils, the N content is 0.03-0.1 %. Rainfall is also source of N at 4.6 kg of N / ha is received ha-1 yr-1.

3. It is converted to NO3 during lighting addition of organic matter and fertilizer is other major sources.

Functions of N:

1. N is an essential constituent of proteins and is present in many other compounds of great physiological importance in plant metabolism.

2. N is an integral part of chlorophyll, which is primary observer of light energy needed for photosynthesis.

3. N also imparts vigorous vegetative growth and dark green colour to plants.

4. It produces early green and delay in maturity to plants.

 5. It governs the utilization of K, P and other elements.

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