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Plant Nutrition And Nutrient Elements :
Green plants manufacture carbohydrate foods by the process of Photosynthesis. These foods again break down to water, CO2 and energy. That energy is used in plants growth and other process. But only Carbohydrate is not sufficient for healthy growth, physical development and regenerations of the plant body. Beside these, for normal completion of other physiological functions plant absorb different kinds of inorganic minerals from nature. The process of absorption of necessary minerals for healthy growth of the body; physical development and regeneration is called Nutrition or mineral nutrition of plant.
Several nutritionists proved that, there are 16 inorganic elements necessary for normal growth and development of the plant. They are so important that they are called essential elements. Their characteristics are as follows: -
· They are essential for normal development and reproduction or the plant.
· For shortage of any one of them, deficiency symptoms shows in the plant body.
· Function of one element cannot be done by another one.
Mineral nutrients are divided into two groups, depending on how much of it is required for normal growth and physical development.
1. Macronutrients: Comparatively they are needed in large quantities. 10minerals are macro nutrients, they are: - Nitrogen (N), Potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Iron (Fe), Magnesium (Mg), Carbon (C), Hydrogen (H), Oxygen (O), Phosphorus (P), and Sulphur (S).
These 10 macronutrients can easily be remembered by the following sentence -Mg.K. CaFe for Nice CHOPS = Mg.K Cafe for good chops. Here
Mg for Magnesium, K for Potassium, CaFe for Calcium and Iron, CHOPS for Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Phosphorus and Sulphur.
2. Micronutrients: They are needed in minute amount. Following six elementsare micronutrients: Zinc (Zn), Manganese (Mn), Molybdenum (Mo), Boron (Bo), Copper (Cu), and Chlorine (Cl). Beside these Sodium (Na), Aluminum (Al). Silicon (Si). and Cobalt Co) are also needed.
Among all the nutrients the plants from atmosphere absorb only Carbon and Oxygen. Other elements are absorbed from soil by root. These elements are present in the soil as different salts, but plant cannot intake them directly They absorb as different ions.
Actions of different elements are very acute in plant nutrition. For these elements are termed as essential elements. Formation of chlorophyll is hampered for the deficiency of Nitrogen. If chlorophyll is not formed manufacturing of food is hampered. If manufacture of food is seized it hampered the process of respiration and causes less production of energy. Magnesium is one of the elements of chlorophyll. As a result for deficiency of it will seize the formation of chlorophyll and manufacture of food by photosynthesis. Potassium acts as a catalyst in many biochemical reactions in plants, for this it is necessary in plant nutrition. The development of plant by cell division is also control by potassium. So without it plant nutrition is not at all possible. We use Nitrogen (Urea), Potash (Murrate of Potash), Phosphorus (Triple supper Phosphate) ect. for crops as it play valuable role in nutrition.
Plants show special symptoms in case of deficiency of any element. These symptoms are called Deficiency Symptoms or deficiency disease. We can ascertain the deficiency of any element by observing these symptoms. Deficiency symptoms of some elements are stated below:
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