Understanding essential plant nutrients and Amino Acid Chelated compounds

By Fedor Shabliy

The role of elements in plant nutrition

Plants, like living organisms, require adequate nutrition for grown. The concept of plant nutrition includes the following substances:

Carbon dioxide. In the process of photosynthesis with the participation of chlorophyll, in the leaves of plants from water, carbon dioxide and light, organic compounds are formed that participate in the construction of the organism. This is the main and only significant source of organic matter for plants.

MACROelements. The macroelements include inorganic compounds necessary for the vital activity of a living organism. The prefix macro-means a relatively high content of these elements in the composition of plants, respectively, their high demand. The macroelements include: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sodium, potassium, chlorine, sulfur, calcium, magnesium, nitrogen and phosphorus.

MICROelements. Microelements are inorganic compounds involved in the synthesis of enzymes and biologically active substances. The content in a living organism is very low, but they play a vital role in the life of plants. The microelements include: iron, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, molybdenum, cobalt.

ULtrA-microelements. Very small amounts of almost all elements of the periodic table are contained in all organisms. They fall into plants with root nutrition from the soil. The necessity for the life of ultramicroelements is not fully proved. Of more or less necessary are considered: vanadium, iodine, nickel, titanium, aluminum, cadmium, fluorine (for plants).

Element intake

Basic natural mode of element intake for a plant is root nutrition. The root system of any plant consists of a large number of rootlets with a huge number of root hairs.

The number of root hairs of a mature plant is tens of millions. Due to the developed surface of the root system, a plant absorbs water and dissolved substances from the soil, providing the plant with macro- and microelements.

It is proved that a plant leaf is also capable of absorbing nutrients from solutions, sometimes more efficiently than through root system. The method of fertilizing plants through leaves is called foliar spray.

Glycinates & amino-acids

Glycine (aminoacetic acid) is the simplest amino acid. Formally refers to complexing agents, it is a bidentate ligand, forming a donor-acceptor bond between the metal-amino group, due to which the complexes of glycine with metals can reasonably be called chelates. Amino acid complexes of microelements are characterized by a very high bioavailability for the metal. Little information is available on the use of amino acids as a source of nitrogen for plants in terms of glycine-to-other amino acid conversions, but in general, amino acid top-dressing should have a very positive effect on the plant.

Roles of the essential nutrients in plant development

Nitrogen (N)

Nitrogen is a major constituent of several most important plant substances. For example, nitrogen compounds comprise 40% to 50% of the dry matter of protoplasm, and it is a constituent of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. It is also an essential constituent of chlorophyll.

Functions:

- Necessary for formation of amino acids, the building blocks of protein
- Essential for plant cell division, vital for plant growth
- Directly involved in photosynthesis
- Necessary component of vitamins
- Aids in production and use of carbohydrates
- Affects energy reactions in the plant
- Critical for flower differentiation
- Rapid shoot growth
- Bud vigor and ATP synthesis
- Acts as a catalyst for other nutrients

Deficiency Symptoms:

- Lack of growth or stunted growth
- General yellowing of foliage
- Older leaves first, loss of leaves under severe deficiency
- Purplish coloration due to accumulation of anthocyanin pigments
- Nitrogen deficiency creates a deep yellow, starting down the leaf mid-rib toward the plant

Solutions:

Robusta, TotalFeed, Advantage

Sulfur (S)

Sulfur is a structural component of some amino acids (including cystein and methionine) and vitamins, and is essential for chloroplast growth and function; it is found in the iron-sulfur complexes of the electron transport chains in photosynthesis. It is needed for N2 fixation by legumes, and the conversion of nitrate into amino acids and then into protein.

Function

- Integral part of amino acids, necessary for protein formation
- Helps develop enzymes and vitamins
- Necessary in chlorophyll formation, helps maintain dark green color
- Promotes nodule formation on legumes
- Stimulates seed production
- Encourages more vigorous plant growth

Deficiency Symptoms

- In plants, sulfur cannot be mobilized from older leaves for new growth, so deficiency symptoms are seen in the youngest tissues first
- Stems turn yellow while leaves turn a very bright yellow, with even lighter veins
- Distinguishable from nitrogen deficiency since nitrogen affects old growth first
- Sulfur deficiency creates a low, stunted growth similar to nitrogen, with short, slender stalks. (Nitrogen deficiency creates a deep yellow, starting down the leaf mid-rib toward the plant)

Solutions:

Constanta, SuperFood

Magnesium (Mg)

The outstanding role of magnesium in plant nutrition is as a constituent of the chlorophyll molecule. As a carrier, it is also involved in numerous enzyme reactions as an effective activator, in which it is closely associated with energy-supplying phosphorus compounds. Magnesium is very mobile in plants, and, like potassium, when deficient is translocated from older to younger tissues, so that signs of deficiency appear first on the oldest tissues and then spread progressively to younger tissues.

Function

- Key element of chlorophyll production
- Necessary for seed formation
- Activator and component of many plant enzymes
- Improves utilization and mobility of phosphorus
- Helps regulate the uptake of other plant foods
- Increases iron utilization in plants
- Promotes formation of oils and fats
- Influences earliness and uniformity of maturity

Deficiency Symptoms

- General loss of green color starting at the bottom older leaves and later moves up the plant
- Veins of leaf remain green with loss of color between the veins
- Leaves curl upward along the margins
- Plants have weak stalks with long branch roots

Solutions:

Constanta, SuperFood

Iron (Fe)

Iron is necessary for photosynthesis and is present as an enzyme cofactor in plants. Iron deficiency can result in interveinal chlorosis and necrosis. Iron is not a structural part of chlorophyll but very much essential for its synthesis. Copper deficiency can be responsible for promoting an iron deficiency. It helps in the electron transport of plant.

Function

- Needed for chlorophyll synthesis
- Acts as an oxygen carrier
- Reactions involving cell division and growth

Deficiency Symptoms

- Tall slender plant with few leaves
- Pale green, then yellow, then white between the veins
- New leaves with light green band along the leaf margins
- Short much-branched root system

Solutions:

GreenLeaf, SuperFood

Manganese (Mn)

Manganese is necessary for photosynthesis, including the building of chloroplasts.

Function

- Aids in the synthesis of chlorophyll, functions in photosynthesis.
- Aids oxidation and respiration processes of the plant
- Accelerates seed germination and plant maturity with resultant crop yield and quality,
- Increases the availability of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus
- Functions as a part of certain enzyme systems

Deficiency Symptoms

- Occurs on new growth first
- Fading between veins changing to medium yellow with dark mid-rib
- Does not affect size of leaf or texture, only color

Solutions:

Constanta, SuperFood

Zinc (Zn)

Zinc is required in a large number of enzymes and plays an essential role in DNA transcription. Influences protein synthesis rate of maturing of seed and stalks, height or length of plants. A typical symptom of zinc deficiency is the stunted growth of leaves, commonly known as "little leaf" and is caused by the degradation of the growth hormone auxin. More deficient with a high soil pH

Function

- Aids plant growth hormones and enzyme system
- Necessary for chlorophyll production
- Necessary for carbohydrate formation
- Necessary for starch formation
- Seed and grain production
- Controls use of other elements in plants

Deficiency Symptoms

- White area between the veins (chlorosis)
- Small sharp pointed leaves
- Undersized leaf is a definite characteristic of zinc deficiency
- In corn white buds form
- Fruit does not size

Solutions:

Constanta, SuperFood

Copper (Cu)

Copper is important for photosynthesis. Symptoms for copper deficiency include chlorosis.It is involved in many enzyme processes; necessary for proper photosynthesis; involved in the manufacture of lignin (cell walls) and involved in grain production. It is also hard to find in some soil conditions.

Function
- Essential for intercellular metabolism and it acts as an oxidizer in the plant processes
- Major function in photosynthesis
- Indirect role in chlorophyll production
- Major function in reproductive stages
- Increases sugar content
- Intensifies color
- Improves flavor of fruits and vegetables

Deficiency Symptoms
- Die back in extreme cases
- Little or no fruit
- S shaped tips with coarse leaves
- Deficiency shows up on new growth first
- Generally associated with high organic soils especially those high in pH

Solutions:

Constanta, SuperFood

Boron (B)

Boron deficiency is a common deficiency of the micronutrient boron in plants. It is the most widespread micronutrient deficiency around the world and causes large losses in crop production and crop quality. Boron deficiency affects vegetative and reproductive growth of plants, resulting in inhibition of cell expansion, death of meristem, and reduced fertility.

Function

- Necessary for sugar translocation
- Aids in calcium and potassium uptake, especially of crops that use high levels of Potassium
- Aids in the phosphorylation process
- Essential for seed and cell wall formation, terminal bud formations
- Promotes maturity

Deficiency Symptoms

- Poor pollination
- Misshapen leaves or fruit
- Poor root growth
- More generally deficient in high pH soils, dry rot of sugar beets
- Yellow top of alfalfa
- Lack of seed formation on one side of ear of corn

Solutions:

Sunshine Honey, SuperFood

Molybdenum (Mo)

Molybdenum is required by plants in very small quantities. Its main (and possibly only) function in non-leguminous plants is as a component of the enzyme nitrate reductase, which is essential for the metabolism of nitrate, the main form of plant-available nitrogen in most soils. Therefore molybdenum deficient plants may appear as if they are deficient in nitrogen, having general chlorosis and stunted growth. Symptoms unlike those of nitrogen deficiency may occur as a result of nitrate accumulation to toxic levels in the tissue. Reduced productivity as a result of molybdenum deficiency is usually associated with the reduced activity of one or more of these enzymes.

Function

- Required to form the enzyme "nitrate reductase" which reduces nitrates to ammonium in plant
- Aids in the formation of legume nodules
- Needed to convert inorganic phosphates to organic forms in the plant

Deficiency Symptoms

- General yellowing of older leaves (bottom of plant). The rest of the plant is often light green
- Pale leaves with interveinal and marginal chlorosis (yellowing) and necrosis (scald)

Solutions:

Sunshine Honey, SuperFood


How can Sunshine Boosters help?

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Horticultural application
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Improve seed germination rate X

















Rooting cuttings X

















Young plants: clones and seedlings X
X X


X X X
X






Rapid growth and vigor X X X X X




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Vegetative Boost X
X X X






X X


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Flower Boost
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X
X






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X







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X
Maintain plant health
X X X X

X X X X




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Large scale / injector applications

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X X X X X X X X X




















Correcting issues






































Iron chlorosis



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Correcting misc. element deficiencies

X X X
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Make flowers bigger
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Improving fragrant flower quality



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Improving fruit quality
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Breaking dormancy X

















Stress relief X







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Improve hardiness and disease resistance X X






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Flush / purify
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Maintain pH 5.5-6.5








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Protect from powdery mildew X







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Examples of micro-element deficiencies:

Roles of Nutrients

PRIMARY NUtrIENTS

Nitrogen - N:
Used most out of the three primary macronutrients, nitrogen is the major constituent in chlorophyll. It affects shoot and root growth, density, color, disease resistance and stress tolerance.

Phosphorus - P:
The second most important primary macronutrient, phosphorous is an essential part of photosynthesis and impacts rate of seedling development, maturation and root growth.

Potassium - K:
Potassium is the third most important primary macronutrient, and typically occurs naturally in the soil. It is essential for cell division, cell electrolyte balance and the functioning of the stomates and influences drought tolerance, cold hardiness and disease resistance.

SECONDARY NUtrIENTS

Calcium - Ca:
Buffers the soil pH, making it more alkaline, and is essential for root health, growth of new roots and root hairs and the development of leaves.

Magnesium - Mg:
Essential for photosynthesis (part of chlorophyll), improves utilization and mobility of phosphorus and acts as an activator of many plant enzymes.

Sulfur - S:
Found in amino acids that make up plant proteins, and activates certain enzyme systems.

MICRO NUtrIENTS

Copper - Cu:
Involved in photosynthesis, respiration and the formation of lignin. Regulates cell wall construction and cell growth and division.

Manganese - Mn:
Stimulates enzymatic activity, helps chloroplast production and enhances root growth and fruit development. May influence resistance to certain diseases.

Iron - Fe:
Essential for the formation of chlorophyll, photosynthesis and nitrogen metabolism.

Zinc - Zn:
Required for the synthesis and functioning of chlorophyll, is involved in the plant hormone system and is a catalyst for auxin.

Boron - B:
Aids production of sugar and carbohydrates and in cell division and cell wall formation.

Molybdenum - Mo:
Helps in nitrogen fixation and is required or protein synthesis.

Chlorine - Cl:
Required for photosynthesis.