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Mineral nutrition


  • Nutrition is deriving nutrients, i.e. complex chemical substances from the food we consume in order to build and develop our body.
  • Nutrients can be obtained in two different forms, organic which includes carbohydrates, proteins, fats etc. and inorganic, which includes minerals or ions.
  • This chapter is based on the study of minerals and their need in a plant body and what all functions they accomplish.
  • Plants need inorganic nutrients in order to properly carry out functions regarding growth, development, reproduction and physiology.
  • We need to identify the minerals elements that are most essential to plant growth and development.
  • We shall also understand the criteria of determination of essentiality.
  • The study of mineral nutrition will involve the source, types, mode of absorption, distribution and metabolism of the minerals.
  • It will also cover the deficiency symptoms that are observed in plants in case of lack of these minerals.
  • We shall also talk about how various minerals and their quantity needs to be in check or else they can prove to become toxic for the plant.
  • This chapter also puts a lot of light on biological nitrogen fixation and studies the particulars of biological nitrogen fixation such as the process, organisms involved, and steps towards the fixation.

Table of contents:

  • Introduction, Hydroponics and the study of mineral requirements of the plants
  • Criteria for essentiality
  • Deficiency symptoms of essential elements
  • Role of Macronutrients
  • Role of Micronutrients
  • Absorption and translocation of solutes
  • Soil as a reservoir of Essential elements
  • Nitrogen cycle


Q1. Sulphur is an important nutrient for optimum growth and productivity in
(1) Fibre crops
(2) Oilseed crops
(3) Pulse crops
(4) Cereals

Q2. A plant requires magnesium for:
(1) Cell wall development
(2) Holding cells together
(3) Protein synthesis
(4) Chlorophyll synthesis

Q3. Which of the following is a flowering plant with nodules containing filamentous nitrogen-fixing microorganisms?
(1) Cicer arietinum
(2) Casuarina equisetifolia
(3) Crotalaria juncea
(4) Cycas revoluta

Q4. About 98 per cent of the mass of every living organism is composed of just six elements including carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and:
(1) Calcium and phosphorus
(2) Phosphorus and sulphur
(3) Sulphur and magnesium
(4) Magnesium and sodium

Q5. Which one of the following elements is not an essential micronutrient for plant growth?
(1) Ca
(2) Mn
(3) Zn
(4) Cu

Q6. Nitrogen fixation in root nodules of Alnus is brought about by:
(1) Frankia
(2) Azorhizobium
(3) Bradyrhizobium
(4) Clostridium

Q7. Manganese is required in.
(1) Plant cell wall formation
(2) Photolysis of water during photosynthesis
(3) Chlorophyll synthesis
(4) Nucleic acid synthesis

Q8. Which of the following is a symbiotic nitrogen fixer?
(1) Azotobacter
(2) Frankia
(3) Azolla
(4) Glomus

Q9. An element playing important role in nitrogen fixation is:
(1) Molybdenum
(2) Copper
(3) Manganese
(4) Zinc

Q10. Which one of the following is not a micronutrient?
(1) Molybdenum
(2) Magnesium
(3) Zinc
(4) Boron

Answer key:

1.  (2)
2.  (4)
3.  (2)
4.  (1)
5.  (1)
6.  (1)
7.  (2)
8.  (2)
9.  (1)
10.  (2)

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