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Nutrient deficiency disorders in Pistacia vera seedling rootstock in relation to eco-physiological, biochemical characteristics and uptake pattern of nutrients

Afrousheh, M., Ardalan, M., Hokmabadi, H., Afrousheh, M.
Scientia horticulturae 2010 v.124 no.2 pp. 141-148
Pistacia vera, pistachios, nut crops, seedlings, rootstocks, plant nutrition, nutrient deficiencies, nutrient uptake, nitrogen, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, plant growth, nutrient solutions, signs and symptoms (plants), nutrient-nutrient interactions, defoliation, dry matter accumulation, chlorophyll, stomatal conductance, transpiration
This study examines the effects of nitrogen (N), iron (Fe), magnesium (Mg), manganese (Mn) and molybdenum (Mo) deficiencies on the eco-physiological, biochemical and growth characteristics of pistachio seedlings (Pistacia vera) in sand culture situation. This experiment, which was carried out in Iran's Pistachio Research Institute (IPRI), seedlings of ‘Badami-e-Zarand' were used as common rootstock. The following treatments were employed: (1) complete Hoagland's nutrient solution; nutrient solution lacking either: (2) N, (3) Fe, (4) Mg, (5) Mn, (6) Mo, (7) distilled water without Hoagland's solution (Control), (8) Fe-N, (9) Fe-Mn and (10) Fe-Mo. The main deficiency symptoms observed after 7 months of planting were; leaf discoloration, necrosis, scorching, defoliation and stunted growth. Seedlings that received complete nutrient solution were healthy with dark green foliage. Visual symptoms of N-deficient seedlings also coincided with the reduction in foliar levels of the concerned element. Shoot and root growth of the seedlings deficient in nutrients were also affected. Changes in shoot and root biomasses production due to treatments were statistically significant at 1% level. A reduction in height, leaf area and leaf number was noticed for various levels of nutrient element deficiencies. Analysis of some biochemical indices (chlorophyll content) and eco-physiological indices such as primary florescence chlorophyll (Fo), ratio of variable chlorophyll to maximum (Fv/Fm), leaf temperature, transpiration, stomata conduction and resistance of stomata, showed that fractions of chlorophyll, transpiration, stomata conduction and resistant of stomata in treated seedlings, particularly N-deficient seedlings, declined significantly. Chlorophyll (Fo) and ratio of variable chlorophyll to maximum (Fv/Fm) were significant at 5% level. The effects of Fe, Mn, Mg and Mo on dry matter production were statistically significant at 1% level. Synergic effects of certain elements were also evident in the present study. The typical symptoms of deficiencies of various nutrient elements can be used as a guideline for diagnosing nutrient deficiencies of pistachio in commercial nurseries and plantations. The present study also showed multi-deficiency of nutrients, produces new symptom in leaves, which differs from single deficiencies.