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Main Functions of Plant Nutrients

It is useful to know the relative amounts of each nutrient that is needed by a crop in making fertilizer recommendations. In addition, understanding plant functions and mobility within the plant should prove useful in diagnosing nutrient deficiencies.Supply of sufficient and efficient balanced nutrition is important for plants optimal growth.
17 elements are considered to be essential for plant nutrition.


Role of essential elements in plants

17 essential plant nutrients and their functions

Nutrient Functions
Carbon (C) Constituent of carbohydrates; necessary for photosynthesis
Source: Air
Hydrogen (H) Maintains osmotic balance; important in numerous biochemical reactions; constituent of carbohydrates
Source: Water
Oxygen (O) Constituent of carbohydrates, necessary for respiration
Source: Air/Water

Nitrogen (N)

Constituent of proteins, chlorophyll and nucleic acids (affect growth and yield).
Source: Air/Soil

Phosphorus (P)

Constituent of many proteins, coenzymes, nucleic acids and metabolic substrates; important in energy transfer
Source: Soil

Potassium (K)

Involved with photosynthesis, carbohydrate translocation, protein synthesis, etc.
Source: Soil

Calcium (Ca)

A component of cell walls; plays a role in the structure and permeability of membranes
Source: Soil

Sulphur (S)

Important component of plant proteins
Source: Soil

Magnesium (Mg)

Enzyme activator, component of chlorophyll
Source: Soil

Iron (Fe)

Involved with chlorophyll synthesis and in enzymes for electron transfer
Source: Soil

Manganese (Mn)

Controls several oxidation-reduction systems and photosynthesis
Source: Soil

Boron (B)

Believed to be important in sugar translocation and carbohydrate metabolism
Source: Soil

Chlorine (Cl) Involved with oxygen production in photosynthesis
Source: Soil

Zinc (Zn)

Involved with enzyme systems that regulate various metabolic activities
Source: Soil

Copper (Cu)

A catalyst for respiration; a component of various enzymes
Source: Soil

Molybdenum (Mo)

Involved with nitrogen fixation and transforming nitrate to ammonium
Source: Soil

Nickel (Ni) Necessary for proper functioning of the enzyme, ureae, and found to be necessary in seed germination
Source: Soil

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