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Facilitating nutrient assimilation

Facilitating nutrient assimilation

Two classes assimilatuon nutrients are Facilitating nutrient assimilation essential for plants: macronutrients Pharmaceutical-grade raw materials micronutrients. Bone health tips, C. Sinclair TR, Facillitating TW Nitrogen and water resources commonly limit crop yield increases, not necessarily plant genetics. The interaction begins when the plant releases compounds called flavanoids into the soil that attract the bacteria to the root Figure 4.

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Plant Nitrogen Uptake and Assimilation

Facilitating nutrient assimilation -

Root hair images were captured for all the genotypes on the main root axis and first order and second order roots, using a video camera fitted to a microscope Leica Microsystems GmbH, Wetzlar, Germany at 2.

Root hairs were analyzed using ImageJ software. All root hairs were measured manually with the same procedure. Root hair length RHL was measured at more than randomly selected root hairs for each replicate. Root hair density RHD was determined as the number of root hairs per mm root length.

The DM of shoot, root and original seed material was determined after oven drying to constant weight at 70°C. After grinding, the samples were digested in a microwave oven with HNO 3 and HCl in a v:v mixture, then analyzed for P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, and B using inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy ICP-OES; Optima DV, Perkin Elmer Inc.

Total N was analyzed using the Dumas dry combustion method in a system consisting of an ANCA-SL Elemental Analyser coupled to a 20—20 Mass Spectrometer Sercon Instruments, Crewe, UK.

Nutrient content was calculated as multiplication of concentration by dry matter with subtraction of seed reserve. The data were analyzed by one-way analysis of variance ANOVA using SAS GLM SAS Institute, Inc.

Linear regression analyses were used to determine the relationships between the measured parameters. The root development over time differed markedly among genotypes Figure 1 , with April Bearded showing a more vigorous root growth.

Total root length and root surface area differed significantly where April Bearded produced the largest root length and surface area, Hindy62 was intermediate, and the lowest were found for A, Farah, Hankkijan Tapio and Dacke Figure 2. The root length density was shown in Figure S2.

Figure 1. Depth distribution of root intensity for spring wheat genotypes during the experimental period. DAE denotes days after emergence. Figure 2. Root length and root surface area of spring wheat genotypes.

Significant differences in RHL, RHD and TLRH among genotypes were also observed. The roots of April Bearded and Hindy62 were covered with the longest and densest root hairs, whereas Farah had the lowest RHL, RHD and TLRH Figure 3.

Figure 3. There were substantial and significant differences in shoot DM among genotypes Table 2. Shoot DM was by far highest for April Bearded, intermediate for A35— and Hankkijan Tapio, and the lowest for Farah, Hindy62 and Dacke Table 2. April Bearded, Hindy62, Farah, and Dacke had higher ratio of root length and shoot DM compared with A35— and Hankkijan Tapio.

Table 2. The concentrations of macro- and micronutrients in the shoots showed remarkable differences among genotypes, the only exception being sulfur S with no significant difference.

We analyzed the correlations between root length or root hair traits and nutrient concentrations, but no such correlations were found. However, concentrations of N, P, K, Ca, and Mg were higher in Farah, April Bearded, Hindy62 and Dacke compared to A35— and Hankkijan Tapio, except for lower Ca in April Bearded and lower Mg in Farah Table 2.

Generally, April Bearded and Hindy62 had the highest concentrations of Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, and B Table 3. This is illustrated in Figure 4 , in which three selected genotypes were compared based on the averages of all six genotypes with respect to shoot DM and nutrient concentrations.

Here, it was found that April Bearded combined the highest shoot production with higher than average concentrations of most nutrients, while Hankkijan Tapio had a better than average shoot production but rather low concentrations of most nutrients.

Dacke, on the other hand, combined a poor shoot production with a better than average N, P, and K concentration, a low B and a high Mn concentration.

Table 3. Figure 4. Relative shoot dry matter DM and relative concentrations of nutrients in the three selected genotypes. The content of macro- and micronutrients also differed significantly among genotypes.

April Bearded generally absorbed the highest amount, A35—, Farah, Hindy62, and Hankkijan Tapio were intermediate, and the lowest was Dacke Tables 2 , 3.

Significant positive linear relationships were found between: 1 root length and macro- and micronutrient content, and root surface area and macro- and micronutrient content, with the exception of B Table 4 ; 2 RHL and RHD and most macro- and micronutrient content. Table 4. Linear regression coefficients between the means of measured plant macro- and micronutrient content and root variables.

This may be seen as an indicator of the balance between root supply and shoot demand. For each nutrient the concentration of each genotype relative to the average concentration across the six genotypes was calculated.

This value was then averaged across the six macronutrients of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, and S or five micronutrients of Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, and B Figure 5.

Figure 5. For each nutrient the concentration of each genotype relative to the averaged concentration across the six genotypes was calculated.

Root traits influencing the acquisition of mineral elements include root length, root hair characteristics, and root distribution in soil layers, all of which increase the volume of soil explored by the root system and the surface area for uptake of mineral nutrients White et al.

Root hairs have been demonstrated to be important for P acquisition in a number of crop species, particularly in low-P environment Foehse et al. However, the relative importance of root hairs to general nutrient acquisition during early growth stages and root system establishment is still unclear.

In the current study, it was found that the accumulation of most macro- and micronutrient was significantly positively and linearly correlated with RHL and RHD Table 4. Thus, the fertility level in our experiment was low. Under low soil fertility, root hairs may function not only as an uptake system with a large surface area, but also facilitate the passage of less mobile nutrients through the soil Jungk, In addition, water channels, as well as phosphate, potassium, calcium, and sulfate transporters are localized in root hairs, and it has been suggested that root hairs take part in the uptake of most macro- and micronutrients Gilroy and Jones, ; Libault et al.

It is noteworthy that RHL displayed a higher linear correlation with nutrient content than RHD for most nutrients, indicating more importance of RHL than RHD in facilitating nutrient acquisition. Consistent with this, Zygalakis et al. However, our results did not confirm that uptake of P was more dependent on root hair traits than N.

To the best of our knowledge this finding has not been reported previously. This may be related to the fact that we studied the early growth phases where the ability of plants to spread the root system into not yet exploited parts of the soil volume is important for uptake of all nutrients before important root overlap and competition occur later.

Consequently, the content of most macro- and micronutrients was significantly positively and linearly correlated with both root length and surface area Table 4 , and the linear correlation coefficients were higher than those between root hair traits and nutrient content, indicating that vigorous root growth was a better indicator than root hair traits of early nutrient uptake in spring wheat plants grown at low soil fertility.

Genotypes used in the current study showed significant differences in root distribution and depth during the experimental period, which may contribute to differences in nutrient and water uptake Gregory, While nutrient concentrations are higher in the shallow soil horizon, selection of wheat genotypes on the basis of early and prolific root branching could improve the uptake of nutrients Liao et al.

The genotypes with early vigorous root growth, long and dense root hairs, combined with early root distribution in topsoil and depth of rooting can be expected to capture a higher amount of macro- and micronutrients from low fertility soil, which synchronously supports higher biomass like April Bearded.

Higher macronutrient concentrations were related to a higher ratio of root length to shoot DM Figure 5 , indicating that vigorous roots enable plants to absorb higher amounts of macro- and micronutrients from soil, and thereby supply higher macro-nutrient concentration to the shoots.

However, while it is clear that a vigorous root growth can enable a more rapid depletion of nutrients in a low fertility soil, a number of other traits could be important for determining the genetic variability in the efficiency of nutrient uptake of the root system.

Differences between cultivars could also be due to differences in the excretion of protons, organic acids and other exudates Lynch, ; White et al. Nutrient uptake is dependent on one hand on root nutrient uptake capacity by the root system but also on above-ground growth creating shoot nutrient demand.

If nutrient uptake is stimulated by increased shoot demand without a concomitant increase in supply from roots, this will lead to reduced nutrient concentration in the plant due to dilution; this effect can be seen in Hankkijan Tapio and Dacke—where Hankkijan Tapio has higher shoot dry matter and total uptake of most nutrients but simultaneously lower concentrations Figure 4 , yet Dacke has higher concentrations but smaller shoot dry matter.

This suggests that increased nutrient uptake by Hankkijan Tapio is caused mainly by non-root factors increasing growth and nutrient demand. If increased uptake of nutrients is facilitated by increased nutrient supply capacity in the root system, shoot growth may at least initially be accompanied by higher nutrient concentrations in plant tissue.

This is evident with April Bearded, which had above average concentrations of most nutrients, even though it also had the strongest growth of all the genotypes. Our study also showed that there were significant positive genetic correlations between root and root hair traits and nutrient content data not shown , indicating functional links between root traits and nutrient uptake, and showing that selection for improved root traits during early growth may be possibly be employed for breeding of nutrient efficient spring wheat genotypes for low-input and organic agriculture.

Our results show clearly that there was a significant genetic variability in root and root hair traits under low soil nutrient availability.

A high root length to shoot dry matter ratio favored high concentration of macronutrients in the shoots. Vigorous root growth and long and dense root hairs are important traits in ensuring efficient acquisition of both macro- and micronutrients in the early establishment of spring wheat in nutrient-limited soil and low nutrient input cropping systems.

JM, KT, and LS formulated the research questions. YW, JM, KT, and LS designed the experiment. YW performed the experiments, analyzed the data and drafted the manuscript.

JM, KT, and LS participated in the data analysis, assisted with the revisions to the manuscript and coordination of the study. The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

The reviewer JK and handling Editor declared their shared affiliation, and the handling Editor states that the process nevertheless met the standards of a fair and objective review. This study was financially supported by the Green Development and Demonstration Programme project: Roots and Compost, organic crop production under reduced nutrient availability RoCo; OP , Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries of Denmark.

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Plant Cell Environ. doi: CrossRef Full Text Google Scholar. The efficiency of Arabidopsis thaliana Brassicaceae root hairs in phosphorus acquisition. PubMed Abstract CrossRef Full Text Google Scholar.

However, N-fertilisers that acidify the rhizosphere would be suitable for alkaline soils where Fe, Zn and Mn availability are limited. Yet, in many production systems, different fertilisers are applied to soil without proper consideration of soil pH, or the effects of the applied fertiliser on soil pH and thus the availability of other nutrients.

Fortunately, plants can adapt to soil properties in order to enhance their ability to dissolve and take up nutrients from the soil. These adaptations may feature anatomical, morphological or physiological characteristics in specific environments such as nutrient-poor soils Aerts Morphologically, roots may develop high competitive ability for nutrient uptake through extensive rooting systems.

Physiological responses such as a large internal nutrient pool, low nutrient content in plant tissue, enhanced remobilisation within plants and low rates of nutrient loss have been reported e. Marschner Anatomical features in roots or leaves may assist in facilitating nutrient uptake and transport.

Other plants have evolved to live in symbiosis with fungi and bacteria, or as indicated, excrete organic acids in order to increase soil nutrient uptake Badri and Vivanco ; Hinsinger et al.

Despite these potentials, knowledge about these mechanisms is fragmented, with varying claims about their effectiveness being found in laboratory and greenhouse experiments e. Koele et al. The ultimate applicability under field conditions is less apparent.

Soils, whether poor or fertile, often contain more nutrients than required for crop annual uptake, but a proportion of the nutrients are chemically fixed in soil. Extensive root systems such as longer roots, more lateral roots and more root hairs are essential to gain access to these non-bioavailable nutrients Zhu and Lynch ; Hammond et al.

Smit et al. Thus, the modification of root architecture by certain nutrient elements could have a profound influence on the overall plant nutritional status. This effect can be significant when these nutrients are applied in a way that boosts early changes in root architecture, thus stimulating early growth of the plants.

Despite these opportunities, the lack of systematic research that directly link nutrient element-induced changes in root architecture to the overall enhancement of plant growth and nutrition with a view to designing crop-specific fertilisation strategies is remarkable.

Plant breeding, so far, has emphasised increase in yield potential, primarily of the major grains, by increasing the harvestable portion Sayre et al. However, despite all the information available on the diversity of nutrient uptake mechanisms, there has been only little focus on breeding for root architecture and nutrient uptake efficiency by roots.

Even less attention has been paid to nutrient absorption from other plant organs and to the mechanisms involved in the absorption and metabolism of nutrients not supplied via the soil. Such novel and potentially more effective fertiliser delivery systems can be devised for agronomists and may entail the development of new plant varieties.

Fortunately, some attention is now beginning to be paid to breeding for nutrient quality, such as increased Fe Sperotto et al. On the other hand, considering the stock of soil P so-called legacy P available in the intensive agricultural systems of Western Europe, North America and China, breeding crops that require less P, without compromising crop performance, would be useful as well see for e.

Wang et al. In this case, undesirable plant traits such as high phytate content could be managed by breeding plants with lower P requirements Withers et al.

Indeed, such breeding approach could address two issues: reducing the requirement for P fertiliser application and reducing, if not eliminating, the effect of phytate on the bioavailability of micro and secondary nutrients such as Fe, Zn, Ca and Mg.

Once nutrients are taken up by plants and consumed by humans or animals, the waste ends up in the environment. Recycling of nutrients from waste water, manure and offal reduces overall losses and helps to recapture nutrients for plant uptake. Such organic fertilisers contain macro- and micro-nutrients, which may provide added value, compared with standard mineral fertilisers.

Shahbaz et al. They associate this finding to favourable conditioning by the bioslurry of soil characteristics related to microbial activity that reduces N losses. These workers did not, however, discuss the role of the micronutrients contained in the bioslurry that also might have contributed to the increased N uptake Oprica et al.

In contrast, Islam reports only small yield effects of bioslurry amendment. Despite the potential benefits, organic fertilisers may be unbalanced in terms of relative availability of nutrients, as well as having potentially harmful components such as bacteria, fungi or toxic levels of micro nutrients, heavy metals or toxic organic compounds.

Fortunately, protocols are being developed to ensure the usefulness of organic fertilisers Mukome et al. Along these lines, Withers et al. Still, there is no doubt that proper processing and sound experimentation to disentangle the many nutrient variables affecting plant growth are essential for demonstrating the value of organic fertilisers.

It would seem that given the many components in an organic fertiliser source, an assessment of the impact of recycled fertilisers on plant growth may fall short in terms of sound demonstration of the precise factor contributing to the crop performance. Often, the control treatments constitute no added nutrients or incomparable treatments of NPK lacking micronutrients e.

Jha et al. Normative research that set standards and protocols for scientific scrutiny and evaluations of any fertiliser product, whether recycled or newly mined or manufactured, ought to guide the current, mostly unregulated entry of fertiliser products into the marketplace.

The research should also allow the unravelling of the functioning mechanisms of the products, as the complexity of plant nutrient uptake processes may cause unpredictable product behaviour and cause them to be effective only under specific crop and environmental conditions.

Leveraging knowledge gained from the many different individual studies, the opportunity arises for the tuning of fertiliser technologies to better synchronise them with the understanding of plant nutrition and rhizosphere processes and be specific to crops and agro-ecosystems.

This will contrast with the current practice of largely using generic fertilisers for most crops and soils. In the following sections, we highlight, based on evidence from the scientific literature, a number of interventions that could facilitate the attainment of a more comprehensive and effective crop fertilisation program.

Guaranteeing good crop performance begins with the selection of quality seeds. In particular, the nutrient contents of a seed may be crucial to the performance of the ensuing plant when soil nutrients are in limited supply. Brodrick et al.

They show that Mo was a limiting factor in N 2 fixation in soils in Eastern and Southern Africa and that sowing bean seeds with sufficient Mo contents in soil with low Mo prevents the production of Mo-deficient seeds until the fourth growth cycle.

Therefore, the question arises whether a role in plant performance of nutrients carried over in seeds could be facilitated by spraying maturing fruits or seeds with specific nutrients prior to harvest to help boost the nutrient content for the next growth cycle Fig.

Indeed, there is evidence that certain nutrients might be required to facilitate seed germination. In a 5-day germination study with rapeseed, seeds with low S, Mg and Ca had germination failure, while seeds which took more than 3 days to germinate were B-deficient Eggert and von Wirén The finding for S, for example, is hardly surprising, it being a component of the early-required amino acids, cysteine and methionine, involved in antioxidant regulation and synthesis of hormones, DNA and proteins Rajjou et al.

Similarly, P has been well recognised in many studies as being required for seed germination and early development of seedlings e. Catusse et al. Thus, determining seed nutrient contents in relation to seed germination and early seedling head-start for different crops could improve future crop productivity.

Following harvest and determination of seed nutrient contents, seeds can be coated with specific nutrients occurring in insufficient amounts in the seed, prior to next sowing Fig.

In principle, coating seeds with nutrients permits the emerging radicle to make early contact with nutrients being released from the coating formulation onto the seed surface.

For example, Nijënstein show that coating rye grass seeds with nutrients increased lateral root formation within the first 15 days of sowing, compared to plants from uncoated seeds. In that study, seed coating with N alone demonstrated greater efficacy than when combined with P, although coating with P enhanced P uptake by the plant.

However, no effect of the seed coating treatment was observed in Cu, Mn and Zn contents. Contrary to these findings, Scott et al. Similarly, barley seeds coated with P had delayed germination but increased chlorophyll content and seed formation Zeļonka et al.

Collectively, these contrasting, even if haphazard, data suggest that the nutrient specificity of seed coating formulations and the initial nutrient content of seed lots need to be determined for different crops and that more systematic studies are required, prior to any deliberate widespread adoption of a fertiliser regime in which seed coating is a component.

It is known that nutrient-limiting processes such as antagonism among nutrients, extreme pH and other complex chemistries occur mainly in the soil, although there is evidence that antagonism between nutrients also could occur in planta e. Ghasemi-Fasaei and Ronaghi However, circumventing the soil by applying nutrients through aerial plant parts can be a complementary fertilisation strategy, with the potential to address the restricted availability through the root.

No doubt, uptake of nutrients applied from the shoot could be affected by surface tension of the suspension or solution, leaf cuticular morphology, age of leaf and environmental vagaries associated with the operations of the stomata Fernández and Ebert Ideally, nutrient elements involved in shoot-specific processes, such as Mg, Mn and Fe in chlorophyll biosynthesis and photosynthesis, would be good nutrient candidates for foliar fertilisation Fig.

As reviewed by Fenández and Ebert , foliar application of Fe fertilisers is being used to mitigate chlorosis in crop plants. In addition, foliar application could increase the seed content of the nutrient, ultimately enhancing crop nutritional quality Wang et al. Foliar fertilisation may directly affect the yield and quality of leafy vegetables, yet this pathway may be less effective in cereals if foliar-applied nutrients are less mobile and thus more assimilated in leaf tissues, rather than being translocated to the grains.

Whereas much is known about foliar application with Fe, the wide-scale application of other nutrients and full integration of foliar strategies into current farming practices would require more in-depth research to i obtain reliable and reproducible application regimes, ii ascertain the feasibility of integration with pesticide and herbicide applications and iii determine crop responses specific to each nutrient and their combinations thereof.

An additional benefit of foliar application may be achieved by exploiting synergistic effects. In a comprehensive pot experiment with two controls, without and with basal NPK application, Oprica et al.

It is likely that the availability of micronutrients in the foliar fertiliser formulation may also have stimulated the uptake efficiency of the soil-applied NPK and, to our knowledge, is currently a subject of investigation at the AfricaRice Center.

Besides the well-documented role of N-fixation by symbiotic e. Rhizobia and free-living e. Azotobacter and Azospirillum spp. diazotrophs, soil microbes contribute to the nutrition of plants through various other processes. Bacillus subtilis can acidify the root environment, potentially helping to increase the solubility of fixed nutrients Zhang et al.

Pseudomonads streptomycetes and Bacilli serve as bio-fertilisers, producing phytohormones, siderophores and other growth-inducing compounds Bulgarelli et al. Yet, other soil microbes function as biological control agents that negate the effects of pathogenic organisms, improving plant fitness, including fitness for nutrient assimilation and resistance to diseases, drought and metal toxicity Koele et al.

For example, Prasanna et al. Therefore, maintaining a diverse population of rhizosphere microorganisms by adequate management may be beneficial in the long run. The strong and multiple interactions imply, however, that the beneficial processes could be highly specific regarding plant species, soil, micro-organism and nutrients.

In this regard, a role for bacteria, mainly of the Bacillus , Pseudomonas and Penicillium genera, as well as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi AMF in nutrient acquisition is further demonstrated in their ability to solubilise P mainly from tricalcium phosphate TCP.

Phosphate solubilising microbes PSMs perform their role by exuding organic acids such as citrate, acetate, succinate and gluconate, as well as by the enzymatic activities of phosphatases and phytases Richardson and Simpson ; Bulgarelli et al.

Such formulations could contribute in the recycling of P fixed in soil from fertiliser treatments, thus reducing the entry of new P into the fertiliser system. Moreover, as P has been shown to increase the proliferation of root hairs, the effect on root density in turn could contribute in the better mining and uptake of other nutrients.

In this regard, AMF, as part of the root system, are more extensive in nature and could explore spaces not reached by roots to exploit P for plant use.

There has been a call to more accurately identify true PSMs based on their ability to solubilise P from several, instead of single TCP , P-metal complexes Bashan et al.

Indeed, identifying true PSMs with the most promising agronomic potentials is vital, considering the increasing depletion of quality global phosphate reserves and competition for rock phosphate by non-agro industries, both leading to a skyrocketing of the prize of P fertilisers Bashan et al.

In contrast to rhizosphere microbes, the potential involvement of phyllosphere shoot surface-dwelling or endophytic bacteria in plant nutrient acquisition is not well resolved. Nonetheless, certain phyllospheric microbes could play a role in crop nutrition.

Likewise, endophytes could contribute to plant nutrition of other minerals. For example Bacillus sp. B55 enhances S content and growth in tobacco seedlings under S-deficient conditions Meldau et al.

Notably, not only does this bacterium reduce organic S, but it also exudes the volatile, plant-assimilable S compound, dimethyl disulfide DMDS. Therefore, for practical application, considering that DMDS is an organic, and thus biodegradable, compound, the question arises as to whether compound such as DMDS, or the bacteria producing them, could form a component of S nutrition in fertiliser formulations for S-deficient soils.

Opportunities, therefore, exist to systematically deploy specific plant-beneficial microbes as part of an integrated crop fertilisation management strategy. Indeed, different microbial inoculants are currently being commercially formulated for use in plant growth. Presently, an inventory of these formulations is being made and is the subject of an upcoming paper.

Nevertheless, the beneficial impact of currently available bioinoculants seems to vary greatly due to the complexity of the interactions, as well as potential issues with the stability of the inoculants over time, and under different climatic conditions.

Moreover, many of the commercially available products may lack rigorous scientific evidence explaining their impact, warranting continued systematic research to clarify these controversies. Nanotechnology is an emerging field with a strong promise to affect the current status of fertilisers.

As such, this topic has been explored in some detail in this review. Nanomaterials having sizes in the 1—nm range are highly reactive due to their small size and large surface area, compared to bulk materials. Thus, it is anticipated that before long, the fertiliser industry will fully join in the nanotechnology revolution.

Indeed, available evidence indicates that the chemical and physical attributes of nanomaterials can be exploited to achieve useful benefits in crop fertilisation DeRosa et al. Recently, patents and products containing nanomaterials for crop nutrition and protection are increasing e. Gogos et al. Different kinds of nanomaterials, including those manufactured from elements not traditionally classified as nutrients e.

Often, the positive effects of nanoparticles NPs on crop growth occur to a greater extent than with the equivalent dose of the same mineral nutrient presented in ionic salt form Alidoust and Isoda ; Pradhan et al.

The enhanced beneficial effects of NPs are due likely to the fact that unlike ionic fertilisers where a significant portion of the nutrients could be lost due to the formation of phosphate and carbonate precipitates or other soil factors, exposure to NPs is potentially controlled by the sustained but low release of the functional ions from the particles which serve as reservoirs of ions Dimkpa et al.

Moreover, ions from the immediately soluble salts are readily available to the roots and could rapidly reach undesirable doses, subject to interactions with soil factors.

In addition to solubilisation in the soil Antisari et al. For example, Cu presented as CuO NPs was taken up by maize and wheat in the particulate form Wang et al. Similarly, the presence of Fe and Mn NPs also has been observed in plants exposed to particulate Fe oxide and Mn Ghafariyan et al.

Notably, the same crop could differentially absorb different nutrient elements provided to it in particulate form through the root, as observed in wheat for CuO vs. ZnO NPs, where Cu existed in wheat shoot mainly as CuO particles and a lower amount of dissolved forms, and Zn as Zn-phosphate Dimkpa et al.

Given the possibility that particulate forms of mineral nutrients could be mobilised and remobilised via the xylem and phloem respectively Wang et al.

A recent study Liu and Lal demonstrated that synthetic nanohydroxyapatite [Ca 5 PO 4 3 OH] as a source of P supply modestly increased soybean growth, biomass and yield relative to regular triple super phosphate [Ca H 2 PO 4 2 ] application.

Beyond single nutrients, composite NPs of different but compatible nutrients also can be delivered into plant tissues via soil or foliar application, where they slowly dissolve to release ions for plant assimilation, triggered by specific environmental signals. These applications would require an understanding of soil physicochemical properties as they relate to NP availability see for e.

Servin et al. Despite its immense benefits, nanotechnology also comes with risks because, similar to all chemical processes, it could have undesirable effects on non-target organisms, including plants and plant-associated soil microbes, depending on NP, dose applied and the biological species Dimkpa et al.

Accordingly, any large-scale adoption of nanotechnology for agricultural purposes must be supported by rigorous research to provide a better understanding of its agro-ecological ramifications, including the plant-specificity of the activity of the different nanomaterials, as well as any potential, dose-dependent, biotoxicity.

Fortunately, such research endeavours are ongoing in many centres globally, funded by government agencies such as USDA, EPA and their EU and Asian equivalents, as indicated by funding agency disclosures in the published literature.

The VFRC is presently starting to engage along these lines with agricultural nanoscientists see for e. No doubt, fertilisers have made, and will continue to make, notable contributions towards global provision of sufficient and nutritious food.

However, due to under-use, fertilisers have not met the needs increasing crop yield and quality and securing livelihoods for which they are made, for many members of the global farming community in poor countries of Africa and some other regions. Increasing fertiliser use efficiency is the end result of the interplay among agro-technological adjustment of the use of current fertilisers, ecological literacy, the socio-economic realities of farmers and an improved scientific knowledge base.

In the latter case, the continuous, even if fragmented wealth of knowledge being gained from i edaphic and soil ecological processes such as interactions among nutrients, ii interaction between plants and microorganisms, and between nutrients and soil water—that determine nutrient solubility and availability— iii alternative nutrient uptake forms e.

Macronutrients may be sufficiently present in poor soils but not exploitable by crops because of limited root capacity, which could be increased through foliar application of micronutrients Thus, the array of packaging and delivery mechanisms could exploit synergistic processes while by-passing antagonism.

While some new strategies may entail adjustments of farm practices, fertiliser products could easily be integrated in current practices, while new approaches might even reduce input costs and increase farm produce and income. Fertigation, the delivery of nutrients through irrigation, is one such strategy that can be integrated into fertiliser regimes, tuned to appropriate application rates and crop demand, to potentially improving nutrient uptake efficiency Yasuor et al.

Foliar fertilisers of leaf-requiring nutrients could be provided along with current applications of other agro-chemicals. Fertilisers packaged in tablets, much like dishwasher tablets, would contain the right composition of micronutrients in right quantities for one application per knapsack for a specific crop and area, easing application practices.

Nutrient-coating of seeds may not significantly alter existing farm practices. Recapturing of nutrients either directly lost from the field or after consumption by humans and animals has to become a much more integral part of fertiliser production.

Recycling nutrient fertilisers should not only be encouraged because of the finite nature of mined nutrients but as an essential strategy for reducing the amount of new inert nutrients converted into reactive nutrients and released into the environment. Pursuing these different avenues to prompt the uptake of nutrients by crop plants and to recycle nutrients implies that increasing global food production may require the use of less, rather than more, mineral nutrients, globally Withers et al.

However, mineral fertilisers use should still be increased in continents e. Africa that currently underutilise them. Clearly, transforming from bulk to targeted fertilisers calls for a transition by the fertiliser and related industry. Valuable lessons could be learned from developments in pesticides over the past decades that moved from toxic, persistent chemicals towards targeted, systemic bio-pesticides based on understanding of the relevant biological processes.

In that case, research by the public and private sector, along with interventions by governments and concerns expressed by NGOs, all have contributed to the change, as was the involvement of actors in the production and distribution chain in multi-stakeholder platforms Barzman and Dachbrodt-Saaydehb Change processes also may be catalysed by entrepreneurs, certainly if changing the course of the mainstream enterprises would require major industrial and business adjustments, including forward or backward integration.

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Connolly EL, Fett JP, Guerinot ML Expression of the IRT1 metal transporter is controlled by metals at the levels of transcript and protein accumulation. Plant Cell — Cordell D, Drangerta J, White S The story of phosphorus: global food security and food for thought.

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Agric Syst — Dimkpa CO Can nanotechnology deliver the promised benefits without negatively impacting soil microbial life? J Basic Microbiol — Dimkpa CO, McLean JE, Latta DE, Manangón E, Britt DW, Johnson WP, Boyanov MI, Anderson AJ a CuO and ZnO nanoparticles: phytotoxicity, metal speciation and induction of oxidative stress in sand-grown wheat.

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Ecotoxicol — Eggert K, von Wirén N Dynamics and partitioning of the ionome in seeds and germinating seedlings of winter oilseed rape. Metallomics RHS Flower Show Tatton Park July RHS Flower Show Tatton Park. Malvern Autumn Show 27–29 September Malvern Autumn Show. RHS members get reduced ticket prices Join now.

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Back A selection of fertilisers. Quick facts. Plants need a range of mineral nutrients to be able to function and grow Plants absorb nutrients from the soil through their roots, then move them up through stems in sap Nutrients may be present in the soil or applied as fertiliser.

Most UK garden soils contain enough nutrients for plant roots to find, but plants growing in containers usually need additional fertiliser.

Jump to Which nutrients do plants need? How do plants find nutrients? What form of minerals can plants use? How do plants take in nutrients and when do they need them?

How can you tell your plants are getting enough nutrients? Your next steps. Which nutrients do plants need? If you look at the label on a tomato fertiliser, you’ll see it contains a larger proportion of potassium K , as this boosts flowering and fruiting.

Organic matter is lower in nutrients than a man-made fertiliser, but it has wider soil benefits, such as improving moisture retention and drainage, and boosting soil micro-organisms. Thousands of hairs give roots a fuzzy appearance. The toadstools of fly agaric Amanita muscria , a mycorrhizal fungus of birch trees.

Did you know? Caring for your soil underpins your plants’ health. Organic matter such as spent mushroom compost supports soil microorganisms, which make nutrients available to plant roots. Preparing a liquid fertiliser. Applying a slow-release fertiliser. Sap rises in late winter and early spring to deliver nutrients to buds in preparation for the new growing season.

If pruned at that time of year, some plants such as birches can bleed sap heavily, losing all the goodness they’re pumping up to the branches. Spring is the start of the growing season in the UK.

Plants require a complex balance of mineral nutrients Facioitating reproduce successfully. Because the availability of many of these nutrients in the Combating depression naturally is asssimilation by Facilitating nutrient assimilation Faciilitating, such as soil Fadilitating, cation Facilitating nutrient assimilation, and microbial activity, Facilitating nutrient assimilation plants Facklitating directly on mutrient applied Pharmaceutical-grade raw materials fertilizers to achieve Facilitatihg yields. However, the excessive use of fertilizers is a major environmental concern due to nutrient leaching that causes water eutrophication and promotes toxic algae blooms. This situation generates the urgent need for crop plants with increased nutrient use efficiency and better-designed fertilization schemes. The plant biology revolution triggered by the development of efficient gene transfer systems for plant cells together with the more recent development of next-generation DNA and RNA sequencing and other omics platforms have advanced considerably our understanding on the molecular basis of plant nutrition and how plants respond to nutritional stress. Facilitating nutrient assimilation A number of root Faciliatting root hair traits Faci,itating been proposed Assimilaion important for nutrient acquisition. However, there is still a need for knowledge on which traits are Facilitating nutrient assimilation important in determining Free radicals and reproductive health and Pharmaceutical-grade raw materials uptake at assimilatioh soil fertility. Facilitating nutrient assimilation study investigated the variations in root growth vigor and root hair length RHL and density RHD among spring wheat genotypes and their relationship to nutrient concentrations and uptake during early growth. Six spring wheat genotypes were grown in a soil with low nutrient availability. The root and root hair traits as well as the concentration and content of macro- and micronutrients were identified. A significant genetic variability in root and root hair traits as well as nutrient uptake was found.

Author: Akijind

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