The utilization of phosphate in tomato plants at different growth stages
Studies were carried out to see whether plants can utilize phosphate efficiently even if phosphate is given only during a short time — at a critical developmental period.
Tomato plants were grown in P-free nutrient solutions and were given 1.0 mM phosphate only for periods of ten days during different developmental stages. All the plants were harvested 45 days after sowing. The results show that plants placed in a phosphate solution for ten days between the fifteenth and twenty-fifth day of their life (treatment 4) gave the same yields as plants grown for all the 45 days in the phosphate solution. Plants that received phosphate before the critical period and after it had lower yields. The total phosphate content of the plants increased with the age of the plants receiving the phosphate, with the exception of treatment 4 which had a greater influence on phosphate content than the other treatments. The utilization quotient of treatment 4 was much higher than that of plants receiving P for the 45 days, indicating that phosphate absorbed was more efficiently utilized for the production of higher yields.
KeywordsPhosphate Plant Physiology Developmental Stage Growth Stage Nutrient Solution
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