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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Development of Cotton Fruit II. Accumulation and Distribution of Mineral Nutrient1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 68 No. 6, p. 858-861
    Received: Feb 23, 1976

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  1. H. R. Leffler and
  2. B. S. Tubertini2



Previous research on nutrient distribution in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) has generally been conducted on a crop canopy base. To enable measurement of mineral nutrient demand by developing cotton bolls, it was necessary to examine the distribution of minerals among fractions of cotton bolls at specific developmental stages.

Distribution of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, and Mn among the bur (carpel walls), seed, and fiber fractions of cotton bolls was measured between 10 days after flowering and maturity. During the initial 3-week phase of boll enlargement, the bur accumulated reserves of N, P, and Mg which were subsequently drawn upon, presumably by the seed and fiber, during later development. The bur continuously accumulated K; bur K concentration was 5.5% at maturity. Concentration of most minerals in the seed declined initially, but then increased markedly later. The major mineral accumulated by the seed was N. At boll opening, over 90% of the boll N was in the seed. The fiber accumulated minerals during the first 5 weeks of development, but lost most of them during the final 3 weeks. The most abundant mineral in the fiber was K.

Redistribution of minerals among the boll fractions appeared to have occurred. If it did, it could have partially accounted for the final patterns of mineral distribution. The data suggested that the boll remained a physiological continuum throughout development.

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