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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Accumulation and Translocation of Zinc by Two Corn Cultivars1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 73 No. 4, p. 729-732
    Received: Aug 7, 1980

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  1. D. E. Peaslee,
  2. Rungruang Isarangkura and
  3. J. E. Leggett2



Differences have been observed among corn (Zea mays L.) cultivars for the accumulation and utilization of nutrients in dry matter production. ‘Pioneer Hybrid 3369A’ and ‘Conico Composite’, which have shown differences in Zn utilization, were evaluated for Zn absorption capabilities of leaves and roots and for tendencies to translocate absorbed Zn from these tissues. Plants were grown in greenhouse sand cultures with varying Zn levels in the nutrient solutions, and then were given 65Zn either in the nutrient solution or hi a foliar application to leaves at different locations on the stalks. Dry weights, total Zn, and 65Zn distribution were determined after 31 days of growth.

Shoot dry weights of Conico under Zn deficiency were 58% greater than those of 3369A, although when supplies were adequate, yields were 5% greater for 3369A than for Conico. Roots of Zn deficient Conico weighed 28% more than those of 3369A, but with adequate Zn, 3369A roots weighed 48% more than those of Conico. Concentrations of Zn in the various plant parts of the two cultivars were similar when Zn was limiting growth.

Plants grown at inadequate Zn levels accumulated lower concentrations of 65Zn in their tissues from solution cultures during 24 hours than plants grown at adequate Zn levels. Absorption and translocation of 65Zn applied to leaves was greater for 3369A than for Conico, and was greater when applied to young leaves than when applied to old leaves.

There were no indications of either cultivar being superior in Zn absorption by root systems or in translocation of absorbed Zn to shoots. Compared to 3369A, Conico produced more dry matter per unit of Zn concentration in shoot tissue (1.95 vs. 1.29 g2/µg> respectively) and thereby appeared to be more efficient when Zn supply was low.

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