Secondary nutrients in horticulture crops such as alphonso mango and other fruits

Macro Nutrients

  1. Primary Nutrients
  2. Nitrogen- N


  • N is biologically combined with C, H, O and S to create amino acids, which are the holding blocks of proteins
  • Amino acids are used in forming protoplasm, the site for cell division and thus for plant growth and development.
  • Since all plant enzymes are made of proteins, N is needed for all of the enzymatic reactions in a plant.
  • N is a major part of the chlorophyll molecule and is therefore necessary for photosynthesis.
  • .N is a necessary component of several vitamins.

Deficiency symptoms

  • Stunted growth may occur because of reduction in cell division.
  • Pale green to light yellow colour (chlorosis) appearing first on older leaves.
  • Depending on the severity of deficiency, the chlorosis could result in the death and/or dropping of the older leaves. This is caused by the translocation of N from the older to the younger tissues.
  • Reduced N lowers the protein content of seeds and vegetative parts. In severe cases, flowering is greatly reduced.
  • Flowering, fruit-bud formation and fruit setting are reduced.
  • Fruits are poorly coloured with poor eating quality and storage properties.
  • .N deficiency causes early maturity in some crops, which results in a significant reduction in yield and quality.
  1. Phosphorus


  • In photosynthesis and respiration, P plays a major role in energy, storage and transfer as ADP and ATP (adenosine di- and triphosphate) and DPN and TPN (di- and tripho-sphopy-ridine-nucleotide).
  • P is part of the RNA and DNA structures, which are the major components of genetic information.
  • Seeds have the highest concentration of P in a mature plant, and P is required in large quantities in young cells, such as shoots and root tips, where metabolism is high and cell division is rapid.
  • P helps in root development, flower initiation, and seed and fruit development.
  • P has been shown to reduce disease incidence in some plants and has been found to improve the quality of certain crops.

Deficiency symptoms

  • Because P is needed in large quantities during the early stages of cell division, the initial overall symptom is slow, weak, and stunted growth.
  • P is relatively mobile in plants and can be transferred to sites of new growth, causing symptoms of dark to blue-green coloration to appear on older leaves of some plants. Under severe deficiency, purpling of leaves and stems may appear.
  • Lack of P can cause delayed maturity and poor seed and fruit development.
  1. Potassium


  • Unlike N and P, K does not form any vital organic compounds in the plant. However, the presence of K is vital for plant growth because K is known to be an enzyme activator that promotes metabolism.
  • K assists in regulating the plant’s use of water by controlling the opening and closing of leaf stomates, where water is released to cool the plant.
  • Through its role assisting ATP production, K is involved in protein synthesis.
  • K has been shown to improve disease resistance in plants, improve the quality of fruits.
  • In photosynthesis, K has the role of maintaining the balance of electrical charges at the site of ATP production.
  • K promotes the translocation of photosynthates (sugars) for plant growth or storage in fruits or roots.

Deficiency symptoms

  • The most common symptom is chlorosis along the edges of leaves (leaf margin scorching). This occurs first in older leaves, because K is very mobile in the plant.
  • Because K is needed in photosynthesis and the synthesis of proteins, plants lacking K will have slow and stunted growth.
  • In some crops, like alphonso mango stems are weak and lodging is common if K is deficient.
  • The size of seeds and fruits and the quantity of their production is reduced.
Essential Nutrients of horticulture crop such as alphonso, pomegranate, apple and other fruits
Alphonso mango or other fruits Planting Distance

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