Plant Micronutrients

The following is a brief explanation of the role of essential and beneficial micronutrients that are crucial for growth. Eliminate any one of these elements, and plants will display abnormalities of growth, deficiency symptoms, or may not reproduce normally.

Micronutrients Role Deficiency symptoms other
Iron  enzyme functions and as a catalyst for the synthesis of chlorophyll. essential for the young growing parts of plants. pale leaf color of young leaves followed by yellowing of leaves and large veins.Inter veinal complete chlorosis  lost by leaching and is held in the lower portions of the soil structure. Under high pH (alkaline), iron is rendered unavailable to plants.
Manganese enzyme activity for photosynthesis, respiration, and nitrogen metabolism.  in young leaves may show a network of green veins similar to an iron deficiency. later light green parts become white, and leaves are shed. Brownish, black, or grayish spots may appear next to the veins neutral or alkaline soils plants often show deficiency symptoms. toxicity causes crinkle leaf of cotton
Boron cell wall formation, membrane integrity, calcium uptake and  translocation of sugars. Boron affects at least 16 functions in plants. These functions include flowering, pollen germination, fruiting, cell division, water relationships and the movement of hormones. Boron must be available throughout the life of the plant  Deficiencies kill terminal buds leaving a rosette effect on the plant. Leaves are thick, curled and brittle. Fruits, tubers and roots are discolored, cracked and flecked with brown spots.Fruit cracking of tomato,Hen and chick disease of grape  It is not translocated and is easily leached from soils
Zinc component of enzymes or a functional cofactor of a large number of enzymes including auxins (plant growth hormones). It is essential to carbohydrate metabolism, protein synthesis and internodal elongation (stem growth) mottled leaves with irregular chlorotic areas. Zinc deficiency leads to iron deficiency causing similar symptoms.white bud of maize Deficiency occurs on eroded soils and is least available at a pH range of 5.5 – 7.0. Lowering the pH can render zinc more available to the point of toxicity.
Copper concentrated in roots of plants and plays a part in nitrogen metabolism. It is a component of several enzymes. die back of the shoot tips, and terminal leaves develop brown spots,reclamation disese,gummosis Copper is bound tightly in organic matter and may be deficient in highly organic soils. It is not readily lost from soil but may often be unavailable. Too much copper can cause toxicity.
Molybdenum structural component of the enzyme that reduces nitrates to ammonia. Without it, the synthesis of proteins is blocked and plant growth ceases. Root nodule (nitrogen fixing) bacteria also require it. Seeds may not form completely, and nitrogen deficiency may occur if plants are lacking molybdenum.  pale green leaves with rolled or cupped margins.whiptail of cauliflower
Chlorine  involved in osmosis, the ionic balance necessary for plants to take up mineral elements and in photosynthesis.  wilting, stubby roots, chlorosis (yellowing) and bronzing. Odors in some plants may be decreased high chloride sensitive crop legumme and tobacco
Nickel  required for the enzyme urease to break down urea to liberate the nitrogen into a usable form for plants. Nickel is required for iron absorption. Seeds need nickel in order to germinate.  plants may fail to produce viable seeds.
Silicon component of cell walls,supplies of soluble silicon produce stronger, tougher cell walls making them a mechanical barrier to piercing and sucking insects essential for rice and maize Silicon has not been determined essential for all plants.
Cobalt  required for nitrogen fixation in legumes and in root nodules of nonlegumes.formation of leghaemoglobin  nitrogen deficiency symptoms.
Sodium Essential for sugarbeet and such sugarbeet increases resistance to drought