Essential Mineral Elements

Essential Mineral Elements

As we all know plants receive water, minerals and other nutrients from the soil which is carried to the other parts of the plant by tissue called xylem. There are loads of minerals present in the soil that are absorbed by the root hairs and transferred to the other parts of the plant. This is how we all receive nutrients when we consume different parts of the plant.

As of now, around 105 minerals have been discovered and about 60 to 65 minerals are observed by plants from the soil. Different species of plants take up different minerals. Some of them accumulate selenium; some even accumulate gold while some of the plants growing near nuclear test sites take up strontium.

Few essential minerals required by plants for their growth and development are calcium, nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, etc.

Hydroponics is a technique in which plants are grown in a mineral nutrient solutions in the liquid medium, without soil. It is important to understand whether all the minerals absorbed by the plants are actually essential or not. There are few techniques used to detect the essential of minerals to plants.

Here are some criteria to determine whether the minerals are essential for the plant. They are:

  1. Certain minerals like phosphorus and magnesium are essential for their reproduction, growth, and development of the plant.
  2. The minerals absorbed by the roots are mineral ions dissolved in the soil and water.They support plants to complete their life cycle and are to produce seeds.
  3. The deficiencies of nitrogen, iron, copper, and sulfur result in stunted growth, insufficient chlorophyll in leaves, cell senescence and etc.
  4. Potassium elements increases quality of fruits and vegetables
  5. Potassium, sodium, magnesium and other elements are involved directly in the metabolism of the plant.

Types of Minerals

Based on their quantitative requirements, minerals are further divided into two broad categories

  • Macronutrients

Phosphorous, carbon, sodium, nitrogen, potassium, silicon, magnesium, hydrogen, calcium, oxygen, selenium and sulfur are known as macronutrients and are generally found in large amounts in plant tissues. 

  • Micronutrients.

Iron, boron, nickel, manganese, copper, zinc, cobalt, chlorine, molybdenum are known as micronutrients or trace elements and are required by plants in small amounts.

 To know more about essential mineral elements in plants, visit Byju’s.

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