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Plant sciences, sustainable farming systems and food quality

Distribution of magnesium in subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.) in relation to supply

BJ Scott and AD Robson

Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 41(3) 499 - 510
Published: 1990


The objectives of this study were to examine Mg distribution in subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.), to identify an appropriate tissue for diagnosis of deficiency and to establish minimum tissue concentrations associated with maximum plant growth. Plants were grown in solution culture with both discontinued (40 8M and 160 8M reduced to nil) and constant supply (0, 5, 10, 20, 40, 80, 160 8M Mg). Magnesium was depleted from old leaves when Mg supply to the roots was interrupted. However, deficiency symptoms occurred first on the young tissue under these conditions. Under constant but inadequate supply, initial deficiency symptoms occurred in old tissue. Symptoms in leaves were associated with Mg concentrations in the leaf of < 1046 8g g-1 with constant root supply and 586 8g g-1 when supply was interrupted. At luxury constant supply, concentrations of Mg tended to be higher in the older leaves than in the young leaves; the reverse occurred with inadequate supply. Tissue choice for diagnosis was not critical, but the minimum Mg concentration in tissue commensurate with maximum shoot growth varied from 740 8g g-1 for the unifoliate leaf to 1310 8g g-1 in the youngest open leaf (YOL), when plants were grown under constant Mg supply. Current supply of Mg to roots was reflected more rapidly in the concentrations in young leaf than in old leaf tissue.

© CSIRO 1990

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