CAHNRS and WSU Extension

Wheat and Small Grains


Micronutrient Functions in Plants

Factors that Influence Micronutrients Availability

Mobility of Micronutrients in Plants

  • Mobile (symptoms appear in older tissue): Cl, Mo
  • Immobile (symptoms appear in younger tissue): Fe, Zn, Cu, Mn, B, Ni

Mobility of Micronutrients in Soils

  • Mobile (leachable): Cl, B
  • Immobile: Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, Mo

Iron (Fe)

Fe Deficiency in Plants

  • Young leaves develop inter-veinal chlorosis, progresses over the entire leaf
  • Chelate dynamics increases Fe availability

Toxicity could happen in poorly drained soils

Wheat Examples Canola Example
Wheat_Fe(1) Wheat_Fe(2) Canola_Fe

Zinc (Zn)

Zn Deficiency in Plants

  • Yellow or white areas between leaf veins
  • Reduced tillering
  • Shortening of stem or stalk internodes, bushy, rosetted leaves
  • Small, narrow, thickened leaves, malformed by growth of only part of leaf tissue
  • Premature foliage loss
  • Malformation of fruit
    Wheat Examples     
Wheat_Zn(1) Wheat_Zn(2)

Manganese (Mn)

Mn Deficiency in Plants

  • Interveinal chlorosis, start from younger leaves
  • Reduced root and shoot growth rate
  • Increases potential for root and leaf diseases
    Wheat Examples     
Wheat_Mn(1) Wheat_Mn(2)

Chloride (Cl)

Cl Deficiency in Plants

  • Chlorosis in younger leaves and overall wilting
  • Chlorotic lesions on leaves (physiologic leaf spot)
    Wheat Examples (photos courtesy of R. Koenig)
2005-Falcon No Cl DSCN1085

Copper (Cu)

Cu Deficiency in Plants

  • Chlorosis (leaf spot) in young leaves
  • Young leaves become yellow and stunted
  • Lodging, wilting
  • Increased disease
    Wheat Examples     
Wheat_Cu(2) Wheat_Cu(1)

Cu Toxicity symptoms

  • Reduced shoot vigor
  • Poorly developed and discolored root systems
  • Leaf chlorosis

Boron (B)

B Deficiency in Plants

  • Yield reduction in small grains, poor pollination, grain set and fill
  • Thickened, wilted, or curled leaves
  • Thickened, cracked, water-soaked petioles and stems
  • Darkened, cracking, rotting fruits or roots: brown heart, black heart, hollow-hart in peanut
Wheat Examples Canola Examples
Wheat_B(1) Wheat_B(2)

Molybdenum (Mo)

  • Legumes (such as Soybeans, Alfalfa, Clover) need Mo for nodule formation
    Wheat Example
Wheat and Small Grains, P.O. Box 646420 Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6420, 509-335-1719, Contact Us
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