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Plant Metabolism


Role of Nutrients

Nutrient Role in Plant Metabolism
N-Nitrogen Component of amino acids, nucleic acids, proteins, enzymes, chlorophyll and alkaloids. Stimulates vegetative growth.
P-Phosphorus Regulates energy metabolism. Important constituent of cell membranes and nucleic acids. Promotes root growth and accelerates ripening. Improves firmness, red surface colour and storability of fruits.
K-Potassium Improves osmotic pressure of cells. Regulates water retention. Enhances resistance to frost and drought. Promotes sugar production and storage.
Ca-Calcium Responsible for structural and physiological stability of plant tissue. Promotes cell division (fruit size) and cell wall formation. Prevents physiological disorders of fruit and prolongs its shelf life.
Mg-Magnesium Structural part of the chlorophyll molecule. Stimulates photosynthesis.

Fe-Iron Important for chlorophyll formation. Promotes photosynthesis and protein metabolism. Involved in the respiration chain.
Zn-Zinc Stimulates a series of important enzymes. Important for CO2-fixation and plant growth regulator synthesis.
Mn-Manganese Extremely important for photosynthesis and N-metabolism. Improves green ground colour of fruit. Improves resistance to fungal diseases.
B-Boron Important for cell wall stabilization. Improves sugar production and transport. Promotes pollen fertility and fruit set. Important for auxin metabolism.
Cu-Copper Involved in sugar and protein production. Important for photosynthesis. Improves plant resistance to disease.
Mo-Molybdenum Essential for activation of nitrate reductase. Key to nitrogen fixation in legumes.        
S-Sulphur Constituent of some amino acids and hence of proteins. Hence S-deficiency will lead to protein deficiency. Important S-containing compounds are Glucosinolates which are of particular importance for horticulture and agriculture. Glucosinolates are responsilble for the unique taste of many food plants like onions, mustard, radish, garlic, etc.
Co-Cobalt Cobalt is not essential for metabolism of plants and therefore not a plant nutrient. But it is required for Rhizobium and other N2-fixing microorganisms growing within root nodules of legumes. Co deficiency will affect nodule development.