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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 19 No. 6, p. 757-761
    Received: Mar 19, 1979

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Effects of Mineral Elements on Hydrocyanic Acid Potential in Sorghum Seedlings1

  1. R. B. Clark,
  2. H. J. Gorz and
  3. F. A. Haskins2



Sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench ‘Early Hegari’] seedlings were grown in nutrient solutions with various combinations of chlorides, nitrates, sulfates, and phosphates (dihydrogen) of ammonium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium to determine the effects of the mineral elements on hydrocyanic acid potential (HCN-p) in leaves.

Growth was maximum or near maximum for the shoots of sorghum seedlings at 1 to 30 meq salt in solution and for the roots at 0.3 to 3 meq. The duration of exposure of seedlings to the treatment solution required for significant changes in HCN-p was at least 2 days. The effects of various concentrations of individual salts on HCN-p were: KCl, a slight decrease; K2SO4, NH4Cl, NH4NO3, (NH4)2SO4, NH4H2PO4, and KH2PO4)2, an increase; and KNO3, CaCl2, Ca(NO3)2, CaSO4, MgCl2, Mg(NO3)2, and MgSO4, no significant effect.

When potassium and ammonium salts of a common anion were added in 3 × 3 factorial experiments, increasing levels of ammonium salts at the 1X potassium level generally increased HCN-p, but varied effects of higher levels of potassium salts were observed. In factorial experiments, different levels of pairs of potassium salts of the various anion had no significant effect on HCN-p. In experiments with pairs of ammonium salts, increases in salt concentration generally increased HCN-p.

It was concluded that large changes in salt concentration affected alterations in HCN-p were associated with changes in ammonium salt levels.

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