The response of maize to copper and iron application in sand culture
AbstractMaize (Zea mays L), an important cereal crop for animal and human nutrition in Nigeria was studied for its response to Cu and Fe. application. Effects on agronomic characteristics and elemental accumulation in maize root and shoot were assessed. The Cu:Fe ratio that best enhanced growth was determined. Grains of maize were grown in a carefully washed sand placed in pots containing 4 rates of Cu at 0, 1. 5, 10 ppm as CuSO4 and Fe at 0, 10, 20, and 40 ppm as FeSO4. The plants were harvested at 10 weeks of growth. Results indicate that increasing the levels of applied Cu and Fe produced an increase in shoot root ratio and the total chlorophyll content of the maize leaf. The increase was more pronounced when Cu and Fe were combined in a 1:4 ratio (Cu10: Fe40) Iron application at increasing concentrations reduced dry matter yield shoot K and increased root K. The depressing effect of Fe at 40 ppm on plant dry matter yield was corrected by the addition of Cu at 10 ppm. The roots accumulated more Ca, P, Na, Fe, Cu, Zn and Mn than the shoot. Iron content of the shoot ranged from 476 to 889 ppm; and from 1358 to 2060 ppm in the roots, suggesting the tolerance of the maize plant to Cu and Fe. Micronutrients accumulated more in the roots than the shoot while N, P and K accumulated more in the shoot.
Key Words: Maize; Cu and Fe nutrition; total chlorophyll and carotene; components of growth
Moor J. Agric. Res. Vol.4(1) 2003:13-18