Zinc as an essential Plant Nutrient

There are 17 plants nutrients essential for growth, development and completing life-cycle of Plants i.e. seed to seed. Whenever their supply is restricted, deficiency symptoms are noticed on the plants in the form of leaves coloration or deformation of plant parts. Zinc is an important micro-nutrient along with other like Iron, Copper, Manganese, Boron, Molybdenum, Chlorine which are equally important in influencing crop yield as macro-nutrients but required in very small amount.

Role of Zinc :

Zinc regulates various metabolic activities and involved in production of growth regulating substances called Auxins in plants. Zinc is vital for photosynthesis and nitrogen metabolism. Zinc Deficiency affects flowering and fruit development by prolonging the vegetative period and delaying maturity resulting in lower yield with poor quality produce. In human beings zinc deficiency causes stunted brain development of the foetus. Infertility has also been observed in zinc deficient men. So zinc is very essential for both plants & human normal growth & development.

Zinc Deficiency Symptoms

Zinc deficiency symptoms start appearing after one month of sowing. The symptoms varies from light green, yellow to bleached spots in interveinal area of older leaves. The emerging leaves become smaller in size and internodal distance becomes short in case of severe deficiency. Deficiency system are prominent in Maize and Sugarcane that can be seen as yellow striping of leaves which becomes white in case of acute deficiency whereas Rice leaves becomes rusty. Cotton leaves also show bronzing of leaves whereas soybean plants are stunted with light green-yellow leaves. Zinc deficiency symptoms in some crops are briefly described below: