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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 42 No. 4, p. 575-579
    Received: Jan 25, 1978
    Accepted: Mar 22, 1978

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Use of K/Rb Ratio to Characterize Potassium Uptake by Plant Roots Growing in Soil1

  1. V. C. Baligar and
  2. S. A. Barber2



Interaction between the plant root and the soil on cation influx into the root is not well understood. Use of the ratio of K/Rb, two ions absorbed interchangeably by the root, enables measurement of the K ion medium influencing K flux into the root. In experiments with corn (Zea mays L.) grown in eight soil-K systems in a growth chamber, the K/Rb ratio of uptake was similar to the K/Rb ratio of the ions on the exchange sites, and not the K/Rb ratio of the solution cations. The data may be interpreted to indicate that K and Rb on the exchange sites had more influence on K and Rb flux into the root than K and Rb in solution. Diffusion of K and Rb from the soil to H-saturated exchange membranes was in the ratio of K/Rb in solution.

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