Zinc-phosphorus relationships in five plant species Public Deposited

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  • The effects of zinc and phosphorus treatments on five different plant species were investigated in a greenhouse experiment. A second greenhouse experiment extended these investigations in sweet corn over a broad range of phosphorus treatments with and without adequate zinc nutrition to study phosphorus induced zinc deficiency. The plant responses measured in each experiment were yield, content and uptake of zinc, phosphorus, iron and manganese. The susceptibility of the five plant species to zinc deficiency ranged from very severe in sweet corn and bush beans, moderately to slightly severe in potatoes and tomatoes and tolerant in wheat. The soils used throughout these experiments were both phosphorus and zinc deficient. Phosphorus deficiency was the most limiting factor to plant growth and zinc deficiency could not be observed in susceptible species until phosphorus needs were met. In no instance did phosphorus application interfere with zinc uptake and in fact, higher levels of applied phosphorus increased the total uptake of zinc. Zinc deficiency nevertheless resulted because the supply of available zinc in these soils was inadequate to meet plant needs. Phosphorus content was greatly elevated in susceptible species when zinc deficiency symptoms were observed. Iron and manganese contents were greatly elevated in zinc deficient sweet corn whereas an increased content of these elements occurred only in the most severely zinc deficient bush beans and not at all in other species.
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