Minerals Nutrition

What is Mineral Nutrition

Mineral nutrition is not synthesized by living organisms. Plants get these mineral nutrients from soil and human beings and animals get these mineral nutrients from food sources and external food sources which are coming from plants and animals. Minerals belong to one of the part groups of essential elements. These groups are of vitamins, essential fatty acids, essential amino acid. We required some of the major minerals for our growth and proper metabolism; these are calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and magnesium. While remaining elements which are not essential in such large amounts are known as trace elements, these are sulfur, iron, iodine, cobalt, zinc, etc.

Types of nutrients depending upon their needs:

Mainly There are Two Types of Nutrient, They are:

1. Micro Nutrient:  Nutrient which is required by plants and animals body in small amounts. Example: boron, copper,manganese, iron, etc. 

Boron

  • It plays an important role in affecting membrane stability.

  • It helps in maintaining structural and functional integrity of plasma membranes.

  • Deficiency of boron affects growth of plants.

Copper

  • It helps in protein synthesis.

  • It activates several enzymes which helps in plant growth.

Iron

  • They play a major role in crop growth and food production.

  • It is mainly associated with energy transfer property, nitrogen reduction and nitrogen fixation.

Magnesium

  • It helps in activation of different enzymes in plants.

  • It activates various metabolic activities. 

Molybdenum 

  • It is useful in nitrogen fixation of both symbiotic and non-symbiotic plants.

Chlorine

  • It is essential for the photosynthetic process.

2. Macronutrients: Nutrients which are required by animals and plant bodies in large amounts. Example: Sulfur, nitrogen, calcium, potassium, magnesium,etc. 

Phosphorous

  • They mainly help in boosting ripening of food along with root growth.

  • Their deficiency leads to premature fall of leaves.

  • In fruits and seeds they are in maximum amounts.

Nitrogen

  • They are mainly present in various coenzymes, hormones, ATP, etc.

  • They are important constituents of vitamins, nucleic acid, protein and many others.

  • It is present in the structure of porphyrin molecules which are precursors of chlorophyll.

  • Due to their deficiency yellowing symptoms appear last in the younger leaves.

Potassium

  • Potassium is present in the soil in soluble form and they are mainly exchangeable form.

  • More potassium is required to their proper growth.

  • They mainly act as a catalyst in enzymatic reactions. 

  • They play a crucial role in carbohydrate metabolism. 

  • Stomatal opening in higher plants requires potassium. 

  • Potassium is essential for translocation of sugar.

  • Potassium deficient cereal grains develop weak stalks, and their roots become susceptible to root rotting organisms. 

  • Potassium deficiency causes disintegration of pith cells and formation of secondary phloem in tomato plants.

Calcium

  • Calcium ion functions both as a structural component and as a cofactor for certain enzymes.

  • Calcium has been associated with the cell wall structure.

  • High concentration of calcium is required for nodulation and successful symbiotic nitrogen fixation.

  • Calcium in small amounts is necessary for normal mitosis.

  • Deficiency of calcium causes chlorotic patches on the leaf and root to become short and brown.

Magnesium

  • It acts as a structural component like calcium.

  • It is a component of the chlorophyll structure.

  • It is also required to maintain ribosome integrity.

  • Mg2+ ion has a direct role on potassium-sodium stimulated ATPase activity.

  • Magnesium ions help in protein synthesis by activating nucleic acid synthesis.

  • Deficiency of magnesium leads to chlorosis of the older leaves.

  • Magnesium deficiency causes extensive chlorenchyma development and scanty pith formation.

Sulphur

  • It is a main constituent of biotin, thiamine, coenzyme A and lipoic acid and all these are involved in cellular metabolism.

  • Deficiency of sulphur causes rapid leaf fall and curling of leaf inward direction.

Role of Nutrients

There are some salts or minerals that act against the harmful effects of the other nutrients thus they balance each other's activities.

There are several mineral cell sap which are present in either organic or inorganic form to regulate the organic pressure of the cell.

Different anions and cations of different nutrients have specific influence on the pH of the cell sap.

Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen are those elements which help to construct the plant body by entering protoplasm and constitution of the wall.

Nutrients like zinc, magnesium, calcium and copper act as metallic catalysts in several biochemical reactions.

Certain minerals like arsenic and copper have a toxic effect on the protoplasm under different defined conditions.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Explain Macronutrients?

Macronutrients: Nutrients which are required by animals and plant bodies in large amounts. Example: Sulfur, nitrogen,calcium,potassium,magnesium,etc. 

Phosphorous

  • They mainly help in boosting ripening of food along with root growth.

  • Their deficiency leads to premature fall of leaves.

  • In fruits and seeds they are in maximum amounts.

Nitrogen

  • They are mainly present in various coenzymes, hormones, ATP, etc.

  • They are important constituents of vitamins, nucleic acid, protein and many others.

  • It is present in the structure of porphyrin molecules which are precursors of chlorophyll.

  • Due to their deficiency  yellowing symptoms appear last in the younger leaves.

Potassium

  • Potassium is present in the soil in soluble form and they are mainly exchangeable in form.More potassium is required to their proper growth.

  • They mainly act as a catalyst in enzymatic reactions. 

  • They play a crucial role in carbohydrate metabolism. 

  • Stomatal opening in higher plants requires potassium. 

  • Potassium is essential for translocation of sugar.

  • Potassium deficient cereal grains develop weak stalks, and their roots become susceptible to root rotting organisms. 

  • Potassium deficiency causes disintegration of pith cells and formation of secondary phloem in tomato plants.

Calcium 

  • Calcium ion functions both as a structural component and as a cofactor for certain enzymes.

  • Calcium has been associated with the cell wall structure.

  • High concentration of calcium is required for nodulation and successful symbiotic nitrogen fixation.

  • Calcium in small amounts is necessary for normal mitosis.

  • Deficiency of calcium causes chlorotic patches on the leaf and root to become short and brown.

Magnesium

  • It acts as a structural component like calcium.

  • It is a component of the chlorophyll structure.

  • It is also required to maintain ribosome integrity.

  • Mg2+ ion  has a direct role on potassium-sodium stimulated ATPase activity.

  • Magnesium ions help in protein synthesis by activating nucleic acid synthesis.

  • Deficiency of magnesium leads to  chlorosis of the older leaves.

  • Magnesium deficiency causes extensive chlorenchyma development and scanty pith formation.

Sulphur

  • It is a main  constituent of biotin, thiamine, coenzyme A and lipoic acid and all these are involved in cellular metabolism.

  • Deficiency of sulphur causes rapid leaf fall and curling of leaf inward direction.

2. Explain Micronutrients?

Example: Boron, Copper, Iron, etc. 

Boron

  • It plays an important role in affecting membrane stability.

  • It helps in maintaining structural and functional integrity of plasma membranes.

  • Deficiency of boron affects growth of plants.

Copper

  • It helps in protein synthesis.

  • It activates several enzymes which helps in plant growth.

Iron

  • They play a major role in crop growth and food production.

  • It is mainly associated with energy transfer property, nitrogen reduction and nitrogen fixation.