Growth and ion uptake by wheat supplied nitrogen as nitrate, or ammonium, or both Article DOI:
Cite this article as: Cox, W.J. & Reisenauer, H.M. Plant Soil (1973) 38: 363. doi:10.1007/BF00779019 Summary
The effects of concentration and source (NH
4, NO 3, and NO 3 plus NH 4) of added N on the rate of growth, final yield, and content and rate of intake of N, P, K, Ca, Mg and S by wheat seedlings were evaluated. Rate of growth in dilute liquid cultures differed among the N sources giving yields relative to those of the all-NO 3 system of 92 per cent for the all-NH 4 system, and of 154 per cent for the NO 3 plus NH 4 system. At low rates of NH 4 intake in the all-NH 4 systems growth rates were equal to or slightly better than those of plants supplied equivalent concentrations of NO 3. Rates of NH 4 intake exceeding 100 μmole g −1 h −1 resulted in reduced growth rates and incipient NH 4 toxicity. Yields at 95 per cent of maximum resulted with steady-state N concentrations of 80 μ M in all NO 3 systems, 30 μ M NH 4 in all-NH 4 systems, and in combined source systems when 200μ M NO 3 plus 30 μ M NH 4 were supplied. The rate of N intake and plant protein content, were maximal when both NO 3 and NH 4 were supplied. Increasing rates of NO 3 intake were associated with increases in the rates of Ca, Mg, and K intake; but with increasing rates of NH 4 absorption, intake of Ca and Mg decreased. The yield and growth rate enhancement observed from the addition of low concentrations of NH 4 to cultures supplying adequate NO 3 is suggested to result from the reduced energy requirement for utilization of NH 4, as compared to NO 3 in protein synthesis and from the increased photosynthetic capacity of the higher-protein NH 4-fed plants. In the all-NH 4 systems the maximum attainable growth rate was limited by NH 4 toxicity; whereas in the all-NO 3 systems the rate of NO 3 reduction was limiting.
Contribution from the Department of Soils and Plant Nutrition, University of California, Davis, California 95616.
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