Plant and Soil

, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 357–367 | Cite as

Tissue Fe/Zn ratio as a diagnostic tool for prediction of Zn deficiency in crop plants

I. Critical Fe/Zn ratio in maize plants
  • K. K. M. Nambiar
  • D. P. Motiramani


Critical Zn levels in tissues currently used for the prediction of Zn deficiency in crop plants often fail to explain the anomaly of diminished yield levels in spite of the higher tissue Zn levels, much above the critical Zn levels in crop plants. The study on tissue Zn content, Fe content and tissue Fe/Zn ratios in maize (at the time of appearance of deficiency symptoms-25 day old plants) reveals that the tissue Fe/Zn ratio appears to be a promising diagnostic tool for the prediction of Zn deficiency in crop plants. It also explains the phenomenon of diminished yield levels associated with the high Zn levels often much above the critical Zn levels in crop plants. Correlations between dry matter yields and tissue Fe/Zn ratios were found to be negative and significant. This shows that the yield diminishes as the tissue Fe/Zn ratio increases beyond a certain critical Fe/Zn ratio. Relative per cent yields against the tissue Fe/Zn ratios were plotted using the approach of Cate and Nelson2 which shows that there is a certain critical Fe/Zn ratio in crop plants beyond which there is a hidden Zn deficiency and a probable response to Zn application. Critical Fe/Zn ratio in maize was found to be around 6.0.

Key Words

Critical Fe/Zn ratio Critical Zn level Diagnostic tool Iron Zinc ratio Zinc deficiency 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W. Junk Publishers 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. K. M. Nambiar
    • 1
  • D. P. Motiramani
    • 1
  1. 1.Jawaharlal Nehru Agricultural UniversityJabalpur

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