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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 79 No. 1, p. 92-96
    Received: Jan 6, 1986

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Morphological and Anatomical Characterization of Leaf Burn in Corn Induced from Foliar-Applied Nitrogen1

  1. P. E. Gamble and
  2. E. R. Emino2



Foliar applied nutrients have been used to overcome nutrient deficiencies on a variety of crops; however, leaf burn is often a problem. Corn (Zea mays L.) Plants were treated with 120 g N L−1 from urea to study the leaf burn phenomenon. A 4-µL drop applied to the adaxial leaf surface was observed at 2-h intervals for 8 h. Leaf samples were studied with dissecting, compound, and scanning electron microscopes for changes resulting from the application of foliar applied fertilizer salts. Damage observed under the dissecting microscope after 2 h consisted of a darkening in the epidermal cells. After 8 h, the epidermis was desiccated, sunken, and discolored, forming a lesion on the leaf surface. Slides of leaf sections showed wrinkling and collapse of epidermal cells at 4, 6, and 8 h. Disorganization of mesophyll was observed after 8 h. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) micrographs revealed collapsed and wrinkled epidermal cells with sunken stomates after 2 h. Events associated with visual damage appear to be related to water loss since epidermal and mesophyll cells become desiccated.

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