The Functions of Macronutrients and Micronutrients
Plants can produce their own food through a process known as photosynthesis. They absorb nutrients from the soil through their roots, which are then transported through the stem to the various parts above ground level. They need two kinds of nutrients: macronutrients and micronutrients.
Plant Macronutrients and Micronutrients
Macronutrients, as the name implies, are nutrients that plants require in large quantities. Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur, calcium, and potassium are among them. Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen are derived from air and water, respectively, while the others are derived from soil.
Micronutrients are those that plants require in minute amounts. These include iron, zinc, and boron, among others. Furthermore, elements such as silicon, cobalt, selenium, and sodium are present, which are required by higher plants.
The elements known as macronutrients and micronutrients can be further classified as follows:
- Elements are structural elements of the cell because they are components of biomolecules. Carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and so on.
- Elements found in plants that are components of energy-related chemical compounds, such as phosphorus in ATP.
- Elements that aid in enzyme inactivation or inhibition. For example, zinc aids in the activation of alcohol dehydrogenase.
- Elements that affect the cell’s osmotic potential.
- Let us now examine the functions of these macronutrients and micronutrients.
Micronutrients and Macronutrients
Macronutrient and Micronutrient Functions in Plants
All of the essential elements perform a variety of functions, including maintaining the osmotic concentration of the cell sap, acting as a buffer, exhibiting enzymatic activity, and serving as a major constituent of macromolecules and coenzymes. The following are the functions of some important elements:
Nitrogen is a nutrient that plants require in large quantities. It is extracted from the soil in the form of ions. It is required for cell division. It is a major component of proteins, vitamins, hormones, and other substances.
Phosphorus is a component of cell membranes, proteins, and nucleic acids, and it is required for several important reactions.
Potassium is a mineral that is abundantly required in the growing parts of plants. It is also required for stomatal opening and closing. It aids in the activation of enzymes and the maintenance of cell turgidity.
Calcium is required for cell division as well as normal cell membrane function. This mineral also regulates metabolic activities.
Magnesium: It aids in the synthesis of DNA and RNA by activating enzymes involved in respiration and photosynthesis. It is also an important constituent of ribosomes and aids in ribosome structure maintenance.
Sulfur is an essential component of amino acids, coenzymes, and vitamins.
Iron: It is required in greater quantities than other micronutrients. It is a protein constituent that aids in the activation of enzymes.
Manganese: This activates enzymes involved in photosynthesis, respiration, and other processes. It aids in water splitting during photosynthesis.
Certain enzymes are activated by zinc and copper as well. Interstitial fluid aids in calcium uptake and utilisation, membrane function, pollen germination, cell elongation, germination, and other processes. Molybdenum is a component of enzymes such as nitrogenase.
Chlorine: Chlorine aids in the determination of cell solute concentration and anion-cation balance.
Micronutrients Manufacturers can avail IMMA Memberships now
The Indian Micro Fertilizers Manufacturers Association (IMMA) assists in policy advocacy with the government and also provides guidance on fertiliser laws and acts. Members are also trained on various technical aspects through training sessions/seminars, etc.
IMMA new membership registrations are open now click here to become a member and take its benefit.