Importance of zinc as a micronutrient

This nutrient element is an important component of various enzymes that are responsible for driving many metabolic reactions in all crops. Growth and development would stop if specific enzymes were not present in plant tissues. The following pathways have important role to play in photosynthesis and sugar formation, protein synthesis, fertility and seed production and defense mechanism against diseases. In rice, zinc, is essential for several biochemical processes such as : cytochrome and nucleotide synthesis, auxin metabolism, chlorophyll production, enzyme activation, and membrane integrity.

Zinc is required in small amounts but its critical concentration for the growth of plants is very important. The critical limit for zinc has been set at 0.6 ppm in soils. Critical concentrations of zinc in plant tissues are set at 15 ppm for rice, 22 ppm for maize, 20 ppm for wheat and 8 ppm for sorghum to mention a few, a general figure of 20 ppm is generally used for most crops.

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