Plant and Soil

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 337–346 | Cite as

Differing efficiencies of potassium utilization in strains of Snapbeans,Phaseolus Vulgaris L.

  • P. F. Shea
  • G. C. Gerloff
  • W. H. Gabelman


The capacities of sixty-six strains of snapbeans to grow in potassium-deficient media were compared in nutrient culture experiments. Marked differences were observed, particularly in the severity of potassium-deficiency symptoms. From this initial screening, two of the most efficient strains and three of the most inefficient were selected for detailed nutritional and genetic studies. The unusual capacity of some strains to produce normal growth under potassium deficiency was not due to greater seed size or to greater size and competitive ability of the root systems. Marked differences in the strains persisted even when grown in separate culture tanks and with differences in seed content of potassium compensated for in the total potassium supply. Variations in efficiency of potassium utilization were not associated with higher levels of potassium in efficient plants, and they did not appear to be associated with substitution of sodium for potassium. The importance of this investigation in indicating the possibilities for developing strains and varieities of crop plants particularly adapted for low-fertility soils or other unusual nutritional environments is discussed briefly.


Potassium Seed Size Initial Screening Competitive Ability Great Size 
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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. F. Shea
    • 1
  • G. C. Gerloff
    • 1
  • W. H. Gabelman
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Horticulture and BotanyUniversity of WisconsinMadison

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