Nutrition in Plants

Plants are like all other living things. They also need food for their growth and development. For the survival of the plants, they also require 16 essential elements. Some of these elements are Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen, which are derived from the atmosphere and soil water. 

There are also thirteen essential elements, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, sulfur, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, molybdenum, and chlorine. These elements are provided either from soil minerals and soil organic matter or by organic or inorganic fertilizers.

To utilize these nutrients efficiently, plants also require light, heat, and water. These factors must be adequately supplied. In crop production, some of these factors play important roles such as cultural practices and control of diseases and get rid of insects.


Modes of Nutrition

We can define nutrition as it is the procedure of gaining food and applying it to grow, repair any damaged body part, and stay healthy. Some processes are involved in the nutrition of plants as they produce their food by taking raw materials from their surroundings, such as minerals, carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight. 


Scientists Have Derivate Two Modes of Nutrition; They Are

  1. Autotrophic – Plants are called as the primary producer as they exhibit autotrophic nutrition. Also, plants synthesize their food by using light, carbon dioxide, and water.

  2. Heterotrophic – Under this category, animals and human beings are included as they depend on plants for their food.

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Plant Nutrients

For plant nutrition, some major sources are there. A plant converts the atmospheric CO2 into simple sugar by using the energy of the sun. Carbon dioxide (CO2) enters through the stomata. Oxygen (O2) is also a product of photosynthesis. It is an atmospheric component that also moves through the stomata. 

In plants, oxygen is used in cellular respiration to release energy from the chemical bonds in the sugar to support growth and maintenance in the plant. The only reason is that CO2 and light energy are not sufficient for the synthesis of all the molecules a plant needs.

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It is also proven that the plants require many inorganic nutrients. We call these elements macronutrients. These organic nutrients are required for the plants in relatively large amounts. Other micronutrients are also required in trace amounts. 

Scientists have collected around nine macronutrients, such as Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen, the three elements found in all organic compounds as well as nitrogen.


Soil

Soil composition plays an important role in a plant’s growth. We can define the soil as it is the highly weathered outer layer of the earth’s crust. 

Soil is made of a mixture of ingredients, which may include sand, rocks of various sizes, clay, silt, hummus, and various other forms of mineral and organic matter. Also, some pore spaces are there containing water, and air occurs between the particles.


Nitrogen Nutrient Functions

  1. Nitrogen is an important nutrient for plants. It is biologically combined with C, H, O, and S to create amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. 

  2. Plants are using the amino acids to form protoplasm, the site for cell division, and thus for plant growth and development.

  3. Nitrogen is desired for all the enzymatic reactions in a plant as all the plants’ enzymes are made of proteins.

  4. N is necessary for photosynthesis as it plays a major part of the chlorophyll molecule.

  5. To form several vitamins in plants during photosynthesis, N is the necessary component for them.

  6. Nitrogen helps the plant to improve the quality and quantity of dry matter. They are available in leafy vegetables and protein in grain crops.


Phosphorus Nutrient Functions

  1. P plays a major role in photosynthesis and respiration. It also helps in energy storage and transfers them as ADP, ATP (adenosine di-phosphate and tri-phosphate), DPN, and TPN (di - phosphopyridine and tri - phosphopyridine nucleotide).

  2. RNA and DNA structures are the major components of genetic information. P helps the plants to carry the genes.

  3. P is found in seeds with the highest concentration in a mature plant. A huge amount of P is required in young cells, such as shoots and root tips as in here, the metabolism is high, and cell division is rapid.

  4. Phosphorus takes part in root development, flower initiation, and seed and fruit development.

  5. Phosphorus helps to reduce disease probability among some plants. It has been found to improve the quality of certain crops.


Do You Know?

We have found some awesome facts about plants. A plant is unique and has an optimum nutrient range as well as a minimum required level. When the plants reach a minimum level, then they start to show nutrient deficiency symptoms. 

Too much consumption of nutrients can also cause poor growth because of toxicity. That is why the appropriate amount of application and placement of the nutrients is vital.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Mention Some Vital Nutrients Which Are Required by the Plants.

There are two types of nutrients for plants, such as macronutrients and micronutrients. 

  • Macronutrients = Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, and Sulphur. 

  • Micronutrients = Boron, Chlorine, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, and Zinc.

2. Explain Different Types of Heterotrophic Nutrition in Plants.

There are some plants that do not possess chlorophyll. They are dependent upon other plants for their food. These types of plants show a heterotrophic mode of nutrition. 

That is why they are known as heterotrophic plants. Such plants are parasitic plants, insectivorous plants, symbiotic plants, and saprophytic plants.

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