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Crop Science Abstract -

Influence of Root-zone Temperature and P Supply on Total and Inorganic P, Free Sugars, Aconitate, and Soluble Amino N in Corn1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 12 No. 2, p. 227-230
    Received: Nov 1, 1971

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  1. R. P. Patterson,
  2. D. L. Grunes and
  3. D. J. Lathwell2



Corn (Zea mays L.) plants were grown for 4 and 6 weeks in sand culture at root-zone temperatures of 15, 20, and 25 C and P levels of 2, 9, and 30 ppra P to test the hypothesis that increased P could overcome the effects of low root-zone temperature. Growth of roots, sheaths, and blades was restricted when plants were exposed to rootzone temperatures of 15 or 20 C and P levels of 2 or 9 ppm P, compared to growth at 25 C and 30 ppm P. Concentration of total P in all plant parts was as great at 15 as at 25 C. The harmful effects of low root-zone temperature were not overcome by the application of higher P rates. Concentration of inorganic P and the fraction of total P that was inorganic P were higher at the lower temperature for shoots and P-deficient roots. Free sugar levels in roots were lower at 25 than at 15 C at all P levels. Sugar levels in sheaths and blades, however, were lower at the higher temperature only under P-deficient conditions. Concentrations of aconitate and soluble amino acids were highest at 15 C, irrespective of P supply. Since metabolism of photosynthate to the level of organic and amino acids was not impeded by low root-zone temperature, it is suggested that low temperature stress was depressing growth by restricting incorporation of amino acids into protein.

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