Deficiency of Some Nutrient Elements in Bean and Maize Plants Analyzed by Luminescent Method

1 University of Sofia “St Kliment Ohridski”, Department Biophysics and Radiobiology, BG – 1164 Sofi a, Bulgaria
2 Warsaw University of Life Sciences SGGW, Department of Plant Physiology, 02–776 Warsaw, Poland


ALEKSANDROV, V., V. KRASTEVA, M. PAUNOV, M. CHEPISHEVA, M. KOUSMANOVA, H. M. KALAJI and V. GOLTSEV, 2014. Defi ciency of some nutrient elements in bean and maize plants analyzed by luminescent method. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., Supplement 1: 24–30


A defi ciency of any essential macro (N, P, S, Ca, Mg, K) and micro (Zn, Cu, B, Mo, Cl, Mn and Fe) elements has a major infl uence on the development of plants. Defi cits of some elements result in external features in plants. These physical marks often overlap with each other or are similar to those obtained as a result of an infection, and it is why they cannot serve as a sign for accurate diagnosis. The determination of lacking elements requires analysis of the soil or plant tissue content, or a combined analysis. Plants react to shortage of the nutrient components and, therefore, their functional analysis is preferable to soil analysis for monitoring of the nutrient defi ciency. In this study the mineral defi ciency in nutrient solution was evaluated by the stress response of the plants estimated by leaves photosynthetic activity. Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and maize (Zea mays) plants were grown hydroponically in the Hoagland nutrient medium – full or lacking K, Ca or Fe. All plants were grown in a full Hoagland nutrient solution for 10 days, and then the experimental plants were transferred to modifi ed solution. The bean plants were decapitated after 7 days of growth in the unmodifi ed medium. The photosynthetic activity was estimated by analysis of the chlorophyll fl uorescence using JIP-test approach that refl ects functional activity of Photosystems I and II and of electron transfer chain between them, as well as the physiological state of the photosynthetic apparatus as whole. The comparison of Phaseolus vulgaris and Zea mays showed different impact of each deficiency on the photosynthetic machinery of the two species. The high sensitivity of plants and specifi city of primary stress reactions of the photosynthesis to mineral defi ciencies outline good perspectives for fl uorescent analysis application in agricultural industry. This approach is fast and cheap, and can be implemented in vivo and in situ measuring conditions.

Key words: nutrient defi ciency, JIP test, plant stress, chlorophyll a fl uorescence
Abbreviations: PSI – Photosystems I; PSII – Photosystems II; PF – prompt chlorophyll a fl uorescence; MR820 – modulated refl ection at 820 nm; ETR – electron transport rate; QA – quinon A; QB – quinon B; PQ – plastoquinone; PC – plastocyanin; Chl – chlorophyll; RC – reaction center; OEC – oxygen evolving complex; RE – electron acceptors; P700 – the fi rst electron donor in PS I reaction center; All other abbreviations are given in Table 3.


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