Nutrition in Plants Mineral Nutrition: Role of Macro and Micronutrients (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Role of Macro and Micronutrients

Essential element performs various functions. They carry out several metabolic processes in the plant cells like the maintenance of turgidity of cell, transportation of electrons, membrane permeability and enzyme activity. Essential elements also act as important constituents of the biomolecules and co-enzymes. Various functions of the macro and micronutrients are given in the following table.

Table Showing Essential Element and Their Various Functions
ElementForm in which the element is taken inRegion of the plant that requires the elementFunction
Nitrogen, NNO2-, NO3- or NH4 + ionsAll tissues, particularly in meristematic tissuesRequired for the synthesis of amino acids, proteins, nucleic acids, vitamins, hormones, coenzymes, ATP and chlorophyll
Phosphorus, PH2PO4- or HPO42-Young tissues from the older metabolically less active cellsRequired for the synthesis of nucleic acids phospholipids, ATP, NAD, NADP. Constituent of cell membrane and some proteins
Potassium, KK +Meristematic tissues buds, leaves and root tipsActivates with K + /Na + pump in active transport, anion-cation balance in the cells. Brings about opening and closing of stomata. Common in cell sap in plant cell vacuole and helps in turgidity of cells
Calcium, CaCa2 +Meristematic and differentiating tissues accumulates in older leavesPresent as calcium pectate in the middle lamella of cell walls that joins the adjacent cells together. Activates enzymes needed for the growth of root and shoot tip. Needed for normal cell wall development. Required for cell division, cell enlargement
Magnesium, MgMg2 +Leaves of the plantForms part of the chlorophyll molecule. Activates enzymes of phosphate metabolism. Important for synthesis of DNA and RNA. Essential for binding of ribosome subunits
Sulphur, SSO42-Stem and root tips young leaves of the plantAs a constituent of amino acids cysteine and methionine and of some proteins. Present in co-enzyme A, vitamin thiamine, biotin and ferredoxin. Increases root development. increases the nodule formation in legumes
Iron, FeFe3 +Leaves and seedsNeeded for the synthesis of chlorophyll. As a constituent of ferredoxin and cytochromes. Activates the enzymes catalase
Manganese, MnMn2 +All tissues. Collects along the leaf veinsActivates many enzymes of photosynthesis, respiration and N2 metabolism. Acts as electron donor for chlorophyll b. involved in decarboxylation. Reactions during respiration
Molybdenum, MoMoO22 +All tissues particularly in rootsRequired for nitrogen fixation. Activates the enzymes nitrate reductase
Boron, BBO33- or B4O72-Leaves and seedsIncreases the uptake of water and calcium. Essential for meristem activity and growth of pollen tube. Involved in translocation of carbohydrates
Copper, CuCu2 +All tissuesComponent of oxidase enzymes and plastocyanin. Involved in electron transport in photosynthesis
Zinc, ZnZn2 +All tissuesComponent of indoleacetic acid-a plant hormone. Activates dehydrogenases and carboxylases. Present in enzyme carbonic anhydrase
Chlorine, ClCl-All tissuesEssential for oxygen evolution in photosynthesis. Anion-cation balance in cells

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