Do Plants Need Copper?
By Atom Bergstrom
Re: How can you tell if a plant is deprived of copper?
Muhammad Shahbaz, Karl Ravet, Graham Peers, & Marinus Pilon (“Prioritization of copper for the use in photosynthetic electron transport in developing leaves of hybrid poplar,” Frontiers in Plant Science, Jun. 3, 2015) wrote …
“Copper (Cu) is a redox-active transition metal essential for plant growth and development. The reversible oxidation-reduction makes Cu very valuable as a cofactor in several metalloproteins. Cu-proteins in plants include PC, cytochrome-c oxidase, the ethylene receptors, copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (Cu/ZnSOD), ascorbate oxidase, amine-oxidase, laccase (LAC), plantacyanin and polyphenol oxidase (PPO).”
According to the same source …
“Typical symptoms of Cu deficiency include stunted growth due to defects in apical meristems, chlorosis, curling of leaf margins, defects in photosynthetic activity and altered plant morphology (Marschner, 1995; Kopsell and Kopsell, 2007). Furthermore, because Cu is not a mobile element, it is not efficiently redistributed from old leaves (OL) to young leaves (YL), meristems, and reproductive organs. Therefore deficiency symptoms manifest themselves first in young developing tissues resulting also in reduced fertility (Marschner, 1995; Kopsell and Kopsell, 2007). Symptoms of Cu deficiency can be species-specific and often depend on the stage of deficiency (Kopsell and Kopsell, 2007). Cereals can undergo lodging while in trees wood quality and production can be severely affected during Cu deprivation (Ruiter, 1969; Voelker et al., 2010).”
Re: “Cereals can undergo lodging”? What the heck is “lodging”?
Lodging is the “permanent displacement of cereal stems from their vertical position.”
It can reduce cereal crop yields by as much as 80%.
Excess nitrogen fertilizer also causes lodging.