Occurrence of Deficiency Symptoms

Occurrence of Deficiency Symptoms

    Deficiency symptoms of various nutrient elements will appear either on older or on younger leaves depending on mobility of the nutrient. Thus, the relative mobility of the nutrient influences the site of appearance of the deficiency symptoms.
    "Deficiency symptoms of mobile elements will appear on the older leaves because, these elements will move rapidly from older leaves to younger leaves. eg. N, P, K, Mg, Zn. On the other hand, the deficiency symptoms of the non-mobile elements will appear on the young leaves because of their accumulation on the older leaves due to their immobile nature. eg. Ca, B, Cu, Mn, Fe and S".
    Specific deficiency symptoms of various nutrient elements and their corrective measures are given below:
    1. Nitrogen (N)
    1. Plant growth is stunted and poorly developed (because protein content, cell division and cell enlargement are decreased)
    2. Nitrogen deficiency causes yellowing (chlorosis) of leaves. Older leaves are affected first
    3. Flowering and fruiting are reduced
    4. Protein and starch contents are decreased
    5. Prolonged dormancy and early senescence appear
    6. Root gets more lengthened as in wheat
    7. Veins turn purple or red due to development of abundant anthocyanin pigment (eg. tomato, apple)
    8. The angle between stem and leaves is reduced.
    9. Plants look so sickly and conspicuously pale that the condition is called as general starvation.
    10. Symptoms first occur on the older leaves due to its mobility.
    Nitrogen Defeciency
    Nitrogen Deficiency Potato Plant in Sand
    Corrective Measures:
    For correcting N deficiency, fertilizers like ammonium suphate, calcium nitrate, urea etc. are supplied. Foliar spray of 1-2% urea is a quick method of ameliorating N deficiency.
    2. Phophorus (P)
    1. Young plants remain stunted with dark blue green or some times purplish leaves.
    2. P deficiency may cause premature leaf fall
    3. Dead necrotic areas are developed on leaves and fruits.
    4. Leaves sometimes develop anthocyanin in veins and may become necrotic; leaves will be dark green in colour.
    5. Cambial activity is checked
    6. Tillering of crops is reduced
    7. Dormancy is prolonged
    8. P deficiency may cause premature fall of leaves
    9. Growth is retarded
    10. Sickle leaf disease is caused in P deficiency, which is characterised by chlorosis adjacent to main veins followed by leaf asymmetry.
    Phosporous deficiency
    Sugar Beet Plant Potato Plant in Sand Culture
    Corrective Measures:
    Spraying 2% DAP or application of Phosphatic fertilizers will correct the deficiency.

    3. Potassium (K)
    The deficiency symptoms vary with the degree of shortage of the element.
    i. In mild deficiency cases,
    a. thin shoots may develop and
    b. there may be restricted shoot growth
    ii. In acute deficiency cases,
    a. shoots may die back, eventually plant may die
    b. Plants may become stunted with numerous tillers and
    c. there may be little or no flowering
    iii. Leaf will be dull or bluish green in colour.
    iv. Chlorosis occurs in interveinal regions (interveinal chlorosis)
    v. In older leaves, browning of tips (tip burns), marginal scorching (leaf scorch or development of brown spots near the margins occur.
    vi. Necrotic areas develop at the tip and margins of the leaf which curve downward.
    vii. In broad leaved plants, shortening of internodes and poor root system are important.
    Potassium defeciencyPotassium defeciency
    Potato Plant in Sand Culture Tomato Leaf
    Corrective Measures:
    Supply of muriate of potash or foliar spray of 1% potassium chloride is commonly used to overcome K deficiency.
    4. Magnesium (Mg)
    i. Mg deficiency causes interveinal chlorosis. The older leaves are affected first and proceed systematically towards the younger leaves.
    ii. Dead necrotic spots appear on the leaves.
    iii. Severely affected leaves may wither and shed or absciss without the withering stage.
    iv. Defoliation is quite severe
    v. Carotene content is reduced.
    vi. Stem becomes yellowish-green, often hard and woody.
    Magnesium defeciencyMagnesium defeciency
    Potato Plant in Sand Culture Tomato Leaf
    Corrective Measures:
    Magnesium sulphate is usually applied for redressing the deficiency. The malady can be readily corrected as foliar spray @ 2% of MgSO4.

    5. Calcium (Ca)

    • Classic symptoms of calcium deficiency include blossom-end rot of tomato (burning of the end part of tomato fruits), Tip burn of lettuce, blackheart of celery and death of the growing regions in many plants.
    • All these symptoms show soft dead necrotic tissue at rapidly growing areas, which is generally related to poor translocation of calcium to the tissue rather than a low external supply of calcium.
    • Very slow growing plants with a deficient supply of calcium may re-translocate sufficient calcium from older leaves to maintain growth with only a marginal chlorosis of the leaves. This ultimately results in the margins of the leaves growing more slowly than the rest of the leaf, causing the leaf to cup downward.
    • This symptom often progresses to the point where the petioles develop but the leaves do not, leaving only a dark bit of necrotic tissue at the top of each petiole.
    • Plants under chronic calcium deficiency have a much greater tendency to wilt than non-stressed plants.
    Calcium defeciencyCalcium defeciency
    Potato Plant in Sand Culture Tomato Truss

    Corrective Measures:
    • Calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) or super phosphate or gypsum is supplied in
    • deficient soils. In Indian soils, Ca deficiency is not a serious problem.
    6. Sulphur (S)
    i. Sulphur deficiency causes yellowing (Chlorosis) of leaves. Young leaves are affected first.
    ii. Tips and margins of leaves roll inward.
    iii. Marked decrease in leaf size, general paling with red or purple pigmentation aregeneral symptoms.
    iv. Necrosis of young leaf tips develop
    v. Internodes are shortened’
    vi. Apical growth is inhibited and lateral buds develop prematurely
    vii. Young leaves develop orange, red or purple pigments.
    viii. Leaf tips are characteristically bent downwards. The leaf margins and tips roll
    ix. inwards. (eg. tomato, tobacco and tea)
    x. Fruit formation is suppressed.
    xi. Sclerenchyma, xylem and collenchyma formation gets increased and hence the stem becomes unusually thick due to S deficiency.
    Suphur defeciencySulphur defeciency
    Sulfur (S) deficiency in Lucerne and Cabbage plant
    www.dpi.qld.gov.au www.sulphurindia.com
    Corrective Measures:
    Common fertilizers used for supplying nitrogen and phosphorus contain appreciable amount of sulphur sufficient to meet the crop requirement. In case of severe deficiency, gypsum is added to the soil @ 500Kg/ha.

    7. Iron (Fe)
    i. Interveinal chlorosis of the younger leaves occurs. The veins remain green.
    ii. Leaf chlorosis may produce a mottled appearance.
    iii. Leaf may show complete bleaching or often becoming necrotic.
    iv. In extreme conditions, scorching of leaf margins and tips may occur
    v. Lime induced chlorosis is the common disease found in fruit trees like citrus. It is also fund in beet, spinach, brassicas and cereals. The younger leaves become white or yellowish white.
    Iron defeciencyIron defeciency
    symptoms on tomato Foliage and turnip Plant

    Corrective Measures:
    • Foliar spray of 0.5% ferrous sulphate along with lime (50% requirement) will remove the deficiency in the plant and soil.
    • Chelated iron compounds such as Fe-EDTA, give a very good response in ameliorating Fe deficiency.
    8. Manganese (Mn)
    i. Deficiency causes interveinal chlorosis and necrotic spots of the leaf.
    ii. Dead tissue spots are found scattered over the leaf.
    iii. Severely affected tissues turn brown, the brown areas may also twist in the form of spirals and they may wither also.
    iv. Root system is often poorly developed and badly affected and the plants may die.
    v. Grain formation is also reduced and the heads may be blind (as in sulphur)
    vi. Four diseases are found due to its deficiency:
    a. Grey Speck also called as grey stripe, grey spot or dry spot
    b. Pahla blight of sugarcane
    c. Marsh spot of pea
    d. Speckled yellow of sugar beet.
    Manganese DefeciencyManganese Defeciency
    symptoms on Sugar Beet Plant and Potato Leaves
    Corrective Measures:
    • Foliar spray of 0.5% manganous sulphate plus 50% lime requirement is quite effective and it should be applied in the early stage of the crop.
    • Soil application of 15-30 kg MnSO4 per ha (mixed with sand) is sufficient.

    9. Copper (Cu)
    i. It causes necrosis of the tip of the young leaves.
    ii. Both vegetative and reproductive growth is retarded.
    iii. Wilting of terminal shoots occur which is followed by frequent death
    iv. Leaf colour is often faded due to reduction of carotene and other pigments.
    v. Foliage shows burning of margins or chlorosis or rosetting and multiple bud formation.
    vi. Gumming may also occur (gummosis)
    vii. Younger leaves wither and show marginal chlorosis (yellowish grey) of tips.
    It is called as Yellow tip or reclamation disease.
    viii. Following two diseases are common:
    A. Exanthema or die back of fruit tree: It is commonly found in citrus, plum, apple and pear.
    • The symptoms include formation of strong water-shoots bearing large leaves, gummous tissue or the bark and longitudinal breaks.
    • Fruits become brown, glossy and splitted. Affected shoots loose their leaves and die back and lateral shoots produce bunchy appearance.
    B. Reclamation disease:
    • It is also called as White Tip disease and is found in legumes, cereals, oats and beet.
    • The tips of leaves become chlorotic followed by a failure of the plants to set seed.
    Copper defeciency symptoms
    Copper deficiency symptoms in tomato
    Corrective Measures:
    Foliar spray of 0.5% of CuSO4 is recommended.
    10. Zinc (Zn)
    i. Older leaves show chlorosis which starts from tips and the margins
    ii. Leaves become leathery
    iii. Plants show rosetting due to shortening of internodes and premature shedding.
    iv. Whitening of upper leaves in monocots and chlorosis of lower leaves in dicots are often found.
    v. Leaf margins distorted, become twisted or wavy which later curl and look sickle shaped (Sickle leaf)
    vi. Seed production and fruits size is greatly reduced.
    vii. The following diseases are commonly notice:
    a. Khaira of paddy: The entire older leaves show rusty brown appearance (due to chlorosis) and ultimately die.
    b. White bud (tip) of maize: Unfolded newer leaves are often pale yellow to while. There is appearance of light yellow streaks between the veins of older leaves followed by white necrotic spots.
    c. Rosette of fruit trees: It is also called as little leaf disease. Yellow mottling of leaves, reduction of leaf size with rosette appearance (due to reduced internodal distance) and die back of the affected branches are symptoms of the disease.
    d. Frenching of citrus: Initially, yellow spots develop between the veins. Leaves become progress evenly smaller and develop chlorophyll at the basal end of mid rib.
    Zinc defeciency
    Zinc deficiency in tomato
    Corrective Measures:
    Foliar spray of 0.5% ZnSO4 twice at 7-10 days interval during early stages of growth will alleviate the problem. Also, soil application of 25 kg ZnSO4 per ha is also found beneficial.

    11. Molybdenum (Mo)

    i. Deficiency causes chlorotic interveinal mottling of the older leaves.
    ii. Leaves often show light yellow chlorosis and leaf blades fail to expand.
    iii. In acute deficiency cases, necrosis of leaf tissues occurs.
    iv. Flower formation is inhibited.
    v. Failure of grain formation occurs (as in oats)
    Its deficiency causes two diseases:
    a. Whiptail of Cauliflower and Brassica: The symptoms begin as appearance of translucent areas near the midrib which become ivory tinted or necrotic. The leaf margins become ragged with upward curling. Before the death of the growing point, the leaf elongates and lamina remains suppressed thus gives a typical whip tail condition.
    Molybdenum defeciencyMolybdenum defeciency
    Cauliflower and Tomato Leaves
    http://enst2.umd.edu www.progressivegardens.com
    Corrective Measures :
    The Mo deficiency is commonly found in cauliflower, legumes, oats and other brassicas which can be corrected by soil application of 0.5 to1.0 Kg/ha sodium or ammonium molybdate or by its foliar spray@ 0.01-0.02% conc.
    12. Boron (B)
    i. It causes death of shoot tip
    ii. Flower formation is suppressed.
    iii. Root growth is stunted.
    iv. Leaves become coppery in texture.
    v. Plants become dwarf, stunted with apical meristem blacken and die followed by general breakdown of meristematic tissue.
    vi. Terminal leaves become necrotic and shed prematurely
    vii. Leaves show symptoms like distortion such as cupping and curling, appearance of white stripe, scorching, pimpling, splitted midrib and reduced growth.
    viii. Stem shows symptoms like die-back of apex, abnormal tillering, and appearance of various forms of deformities such as curling and brittle lesions, pimpling etc.
    ix. Fruits are severely deformed and develop typical cracking or splitting.
    x. Following diseases are commonly found due to B deficiency:
    a. Heart rot of sugar beet and marigold
    b. Canker and internal black spot of garden pea
    c. Browning of cauliflower
    d. Top sickness of tobacco
    e. Hard fruit of citrus.
    Boron DefeciencyBoron DefeciencyBoron Defeciency
    Symptoms on Clover leaves, Cauliflower and tomato plants
    http://enst2.umd.edu http://www.hbci.com
    Corrective Measures:
    • Foliar spray of 0.2% borax acid will be effective for quick recovery.
    • Liming of soil should be strictly avoided when boron-containing fertilizers are applied.

    13. Chlorine (Cl)

    Distinct interveinal chlorosis. Plants require relatively high chlorine concentration in their tissues. Chlorine is very abundant in soils, and reaches high concentrations in saline areas, but it can be deficient in highly leached inland areas. The most common symptoms of chlorine deficiency are chlorosis and wilting of the young leaves. The chlorosis occurs on smooth flat depressions in the interveinal area of the leaf blade. In more advanced cases there often appears a characteristic bronzing on the upper side of the mature leaves.
    Chlorine defeciency symptoms
    symptoms on tomato leaves

Last modified: Wednesday, 19 October 2011, 3:55 AM