Mineral Nutrition Class 11 Notes - Chapter 12

All living organisms require macromolecules such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, water and minerals for growth and development. The important elements required in mineral nutrition include:

Macronutrients

These nutrients are required by the plants in large quantities. These include carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, sulphur, potassium, etc.

Micronutrients

These nutrients are required by the plants in small quantities. These include iron, copper, manganese, molybdenum, chlorine, etc.

Essential Elements

Mineral nutrition in plants is required for a variety of functions such as growth, repair and photosynthesis. A deficiency of these essential elements can cause a variety of diseases that can range from chlorosis to necrosis. Elements like boron, calcium, chlorine, copper, iron, magnesium, molybdenum, manganese, nickel, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur and zinc have been documented to have beneficial effects on the growth and sustenance of plants.

Functions of Mineral Nutrients

The mineral nutrients perform the following functions:

  1. Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen enter into the cell wall and protoplasm and form the plant body.
  2. The minerals present in the cell sap maintain the osmotic pressure of the cell.
  3. Calcium, sodium and potassium maintain the permeability of cell membrane.
  4. The cations and anions affect the pH of the cell sap.
  5. A few salts and minerals balance the harmful effect of other nutrients.
  6. Several elements act as catalyst for biochemical reactions.

Also Read: Mineral Nutrition

Role of Macro and Micronutrients

Following are the major functions of macro and micronutrients:

Mineral Nutrients

Functions

Nitrogen

Important constituent of nucleic acid, protein, hormones and vitamins

Phosphorus

Promotes root growth and fruit ripening

Potassium

It acts as an activator for several enzymes
Calcium

Facilitates the formation of middle lamella of plants and acts as an enzyme activator

Magnesium

Plays a vital role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids
Sulphur

Major constituent of amino acids and vitamins

Iron

Plays an important role in the energy conversion reaction reactions of respiration and photosynthesis, activates nitrate reductase and aconitase
Manganese

Essential for chlorophyll synthesis, initiate photolysis of water

Copper

Plays an important role in photophosphorylation
Molybdenum

It helps in the synthesis of ascorbic acid

Chlorine

Helps in the photolysis of water in photosystem-II

Deficiency of Mineral Nutrients

The deficiency of major mineral nutrients are given below:

Mineral Nutrients

Deficiency Symptoms

Nitrogen

Impaired plant growth, chlorosis, delayed flowering and fruiting
Phosphorus

Premature leaf fall, necrosis

Sulphur

Delayed flowering and fruiting, premature leaf fall
Potassium

Mottled chlorosis, inhibition of protein synthesis and photosynthesis

Calcium

Chlorosis, distortion of leaf shape
Magnesium

Interveinal chlorosis, depression of internal phloem

Iron

Chlorosis, inhibition of protein synthesis and chloroplast formation
Chlorine

Wilting of leaves, brown edges, leaf spots 

Copper

Causes “die back” disease in leaves, Reduction in vegetative and reproductive growth

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Important Question on Mineral Nutrition Class 11

  1. What are macronutrients?
  2. Define micronutrients.
  3. Name some elements that are toxic to plants
  4. How does the absorption of minerals take place in plants?
  5. How is nitrogen in the atmosphere utilized by the plants?

Further Reading

Nitrogen Fixation And Nitrogen Metabolism

Role Of Macronutrients And Micronutrients

Important Questions on Mineral  Nutrition

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