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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Root Development and Nutrient Uptake by Corn Grown in Solution Culture1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 66 No. 4, p. 514-516

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  1. D. D. Warncke and
  2. S. A. Barber2



Although nutrient uptake by young corn (Zea mays L.) roots from solution culture has been extensively studied, little information is available on the rate of root development and nutrient uptake during the entire development of the corn plant. Corn root growth rate, the nutrient content of the root and shoot, and the nutrient uptake rate were studied for five stages of development of corn plants growing in solution culture in the greenhouse. The data were compared with similar observations in the field.

Corn root length increased exponentially with time until the tasseling stage, as also occurred in the field. Beyond this stage root length in solution culture increased slowly. The proportion of N, P, K, Ca, and Mg present in the roots ranged from 0.11 to 0.22 and averaged 0.15 of the total. Nutrient uptake rate per meter of root was greatest for the first growth stage and decreased with plaint age. Rates of uptake per meter of root were similar to those obtained in the field except that the rates for the youngest plants in solution culture were slower than for similar plants grown in the field.

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