Potassium nitrate: a novel uptake and translocation booster of foliar - applied nutrients

Professor Ismail Cakmak (Sabanci University, Turkey), discovered a disruptive phenomenon, that the addition of potassium nitrate to the spraying solution of sulphated magnesium and zinc enhanced their uptake and translocation within the sprayed plant. Young wheat and maize plants were grown in protected conditions on soil, or nutrient solution that contained very low Zn concentrations. The seedlings were grown in a calcareous clay loam soil that did not allow the root absorption of sufficient Zn. This produced in the plants a relative Zn deficiency, which was required for checking corrective treatments, which were done by foliar application of common Zn products. An old leaf was immersed or sprayed with 0,2% (w/v) of Zn-sulphate, or 0,33 (w/v) of Zn-EDTA or 2,0% (w/v) of Mg-sulphate, or 2,08% of Mg-nitrate. In one set these solutions were as is (control), and in another set, the solution also contained 2,0% of KNO3.

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