Some Interactions of Mineral Nutrients and Organic Substances in Plant Nutrition

Authored by: Thomas W. Crawford

Handbook of Plant and Crop Physiology

Print publication date:  March  2014
Online publication date:  March  2014

Print ISBN: 9781466553286
eBook ISBN: 9781466553293
Adobe ISBN:


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The mineral nutrition of plants is dependent upon complex inorganic and organic sources of essential plant nutrients. Carbon is assimilated from the air by photosynthetic plants, and parasitic plants absorb some or all of their nutrients from other plant or animal material. Essential plant nutrients other than carbon are absorbed directly through cells in contact with the environment (e.g., roots, leaves, and surface of cells of other organs) or from other plants, in the case of parasitic plants such as Cassytha spp. or Striga spp. The acquisition of mineral nutrients can be directly facilitated by other organisms, such as mycorrhizae, which can increase the surface area of the root system of a plant, and indirect action by organisms such as fungi and bacteria can mineralize elements, making them available for absorption by plants. The purpose of this chapter is not encyclopedic, but rather to orient the reader regarding various aspects of interaction of mineral nutrients with organic substances in plant nutrition; further, in-depth information is available via the references.

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