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Effect of media pH on nitrate uptake, dry matter production and nitrogen accumulation by corn (Zea mays L.) seedlings grown in solution culture



Effect of media pH on nitrate uptake, dry matter production and nitrogen accumulation by corn (Zea mays L.) seedlings grown in solution culture



Biologia Plantarum 27(6): 451-457



Experiments were conducted (a) to identify optimum media pH for nitrate uptake by intact corn (Zea mays L. cv. XL-81) plants grown under solution culture conditions, (b) to understand the effect of media pH on growth, nitrate uptake, water use and nitrogen accumulation. pH was maintained using carboxy cation exchange resin IRC-50. Plants were grown in 15 mM NO3--N per liter and nitrate depleted from nutrient solution over a period of time was measured. Dry matter accumulation by the plants decreased progressively with increased pH. However, the decrease was significant only at pH 7.0 and 8.0. Data on water use showed results similar to dry matter accumulation. Correlation coefficients (r values) among nitrate uptake, dry matter production, water use, nitrate-N accumulation and reduced-N accumulation was observed to be high (above 0.99). All effects of media pH are significant only at pH range 7.0 to 8.0. Despite adequate supply of iron, the plants at pH 7.0 and 8.0 showed symptoms of iron deficiency. Thus,iron and possibly micro-nutrient deficiency could have resulted in poor plant growth. These experimental results indicate optimum pH range for nitrate uptake is 4.0-6.0. Plant growth and dry matter accumulation were directly affected by media pH. The differences in nitrate uptake, water use and total nitrogen accumulation appeared to have resulted as a consequence of differential dry matter production. Whether these differences are due to altered metabolic uptake characteristics of the roots is not known.

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Accession: 001574704

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DOI: 10.1007/bf02894716


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