💡 About 1-5% of total plant dry matter consists on nitrogen, which is the second highest required element in plants, second only to carbon. Nitrogen is essential for plant metabolism as a constituent of proteins, nucleic acids, chlorophyll, co-enzymes, phytohormones and secondary metabolites. When taken up as either ammonium or nitrate, nitrogen is assimilated into amino acids in either the roots or shoots.
📌 Research Highlights:
▶ The availability of nitrogen to roots is a decisive factor for plant growth. Atmospheric N2 is only available to plants that are capable of forming symbiosis with N2-fixing bacteria.
▶ In addition to inorganic nitrogen acquisition, uptake of organic nitrogen also contributes to plant nutrition. Organic nitrogen is the main form of nitrogen in soils: in the organic matter and in the form of peptides and proteins, amino acids, and the urea.
▶ To achieve efficient plant growth, development, and reproduction, adequate, not excessive, amounts of nitrogen are required. Plants that are deficient in nitrogen display stunted growth with narrow leaves, a pale green or even a pale green or yellow coloring, and a low canopy.
🎯Generally, a uniformly high nutrient supply suppresses root branching. However, when overall nitrogen availability is limited, plants may respond by enhancing lateral root development into nitrogen-rich patches.
📷 Image: Schematic representation of shoot and root growth in cereal plants with an increasing nitrogen supply.