Deficiency Symptoms of Essential Elements – Class 12 | Chapter – 12 | Biology Short Notes Series PDF

Deficiency Symptoms of Essential Elements: When a plant gets limited amounts of an essential mineral, its growth becomes retarded. The concentration of the essential element below which the growth of a plant is retarded is the ‘critical concentration’. Below this concentration, the plant is said to be deficient in that particular element.

Deficiencies are indicated by morphological changes in plants. These are called ‘deficiency symptoms’. These symptoms differ from mineral to mineral and disappear when sufficient levels are provided. However, if the deficiency continues then it leads to plant death.

Deficiency Symptoms of Essential Elements

Deficiency symptoms for macronutrients 

1. Nitrogen:

We all know that protein is very important for all living organisms because it leads to healthy growth and development. Nitrogen is one of the significant elements required in protein. It also contributes 1% to 6% (approximately) of the plant#39;s dry matter. So nitrogen deficiency can easily be seen in the growth and development of plants. Yellowing is seen in stems and leaves.

2. Calcium: 

Calcium plays a vital role in signaling and cell wall structure. Calcium deficiency affects the early growing leaves and the growth points of plants. Newly leaves seem to be hooked or distorted. Black spots may also appear near the mid leaf and the growth of plants may be stopped.

3. Magnesium:

It is the inner element present in chlorophyll and is also very important for plant metabolism. It also transports carbohydrates within the plant body. Yellow and dark spots are seen in the new growth of plants.

4. Potassium:

Potassium is a very important element for plants. It plays a very important role in the formation of starch, movement of sugar and pH stabilization. Deficiency of potassium leads to a sudden development of a tissue called necrotic tissue, due to which the leaves may appear to curl downwards.

5. Phosphorus: 

Phosphorus is required by plants for photosynthesis and transpiration. These processes require energy in the form of Adenosine triphosphate (requires phosphorus). If plants lack phosphorus these processes will not perform well, the leaves also may become reddish-purple and the old leaves may turn black.

6. Sulfur:

Amino acids require protein synthesis which in turn require sulfur. The light green-yellow pigment can be seen due to the deficiency of sulfur which usually happens in early growing leaves.

Deficiency Symptoms for Micronutrients

There are also many deficiencies for Micronutrients. Earlier we discussed the deficiencies of micronutrients in plants and now let us move forward to the micronutrients:

1. Boron – The death of terminal buds might take place due to the lack of growth in plants.

2. Copper – Lack of growth in roots and stem might be observed.

3. Manganese – Due to this, the shoots, fruits and leaves might diminish in size and color.

4. Zinc – Purple pigmentation occurs along with veinal chlorosis.

5. Molybdenum – Leaves might turn yellow and they also might distort.

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By Team Learning Mantras