Morphological and Anatomical Characterization of Leaf Burn in Corn Induced from Foliar-Applied Nitrogen1
- P. E. Gamble and
- 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.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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