Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 62
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62 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1953
Organic acids and enzyme systems
The effect of different levels of iron and manganese on the amount of
organic acids and the level of enzyme activity in plant tissues was
studied at the New Jersey station. Low iron and high manganese
nutrition resulted in a greater quantity of organic acids than high
iron and low manganese, in the leaves of Havana seed tobacco. Maleic
acid constituted the major single organic acid present. Iron-deficient
chlorotic sunflower leaves were much lower in catalase and peroxidase
activities than plants grown with an adequate supply of iron. High
manganese had the same effect as low iron in inducing typical chlorosis
and reducing the activity of these enzymes. Intermediate levels
of both iron and manganese produced normal plants.
The New Jersey station also reported that a decrease in the nutrient
level of boron caused an increase in total organic acids in tomatoes.
Catalase activity of boron-deficient tomatoes exceeded that of plants
grown with sufficient boron. Present indications are that borondeficient
tomato tissues respire more rapidly than normal tissues. Cell
necrosis in boron-deficient tomato plants occurred first in the outer
basal portions of the youngest undeveloped leaves, next in the inner
portions of these same leaves near the junction of the base and the
dome of the meristematic tissue, and finally in the vacuolated cells
beneath the meristematic region across the whole of the young shoot
Composition of legumes and grasses
Manganese-deficient alfalfa was found by the Indiana station to
contain more nitrogen than normal alfalfa. The greatest difference
occurred in the amide, free amino acid, and nitrate nitrogen fractions,
in which deficient plants were considerably higher than the nondeficient.
The latter, or normal plants, were slightly lower in protein
than the former.
Plant analyses conducted at the Virginia station (coop. USDA)
showed that ladino clover is higher in boron, cobalt, copper, and zinc
content than orchardgrass. Out of 80 grass samples collected in the
southern Coastal Plains area, more than one-half was deficient in
cobalt (0.05 p. p. m. or less) from the standpoint of animal nutrition,
whereas more than one-third of these from the northern section of the
Coastal Plains was deficient. Copper was also found to be deficient
(6.50 p. p. m. or less) in grass grown in the Coastal Plains soils. In
the northern part of the area about one-third of the samples were deficient,
and in the southern part almost one-half were too low in
copper for adequate animal nutrition. Orchardgrass was higher in
molybdenum and manganese than ladino clover. With the exception
of zinc, the average plant content of these elements was higher in the
samples from the northern than those from the southern Coastal
The Missouri station continued its investigations of the functioning
of trace elements as catalysts in protein synthesis. From the stand.
point of animal nutrition the amino acid composition of protein was
improved by the addition of trace elements to the soil. Breeding
troubles and Brucellosis infection in dairy animals were reduced by
feeding grain from soils treated with trace elements.
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/64/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.