Growth enhancement by supplementary phosphorus and iron in tomato cultivars grown hydroponically at high zinc
A short term experiment with tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) cvs. Blizzard, Liberto, and Calypso was carried out in a controlled temperature room to investigate the effectiveness of phosphorus (P) and iron (Fe) supplemented in nutrient solution on plant growth at high zinc (Zn) (77.0 μmol L). Zinc concentrations in complete nutrient solution were either 7.7 or 77.0 μmol L. One week after application of high Zn, supplementary P and Fe at 1 and 0.05 mmol L respectively were added into nutrient solution for three weeks. There were significant reductions in both dry weights and chlorophyll contents in the plants grown at high (77.0 μmol L) Zn compared with those in the control treatment for all three cultivars. Application of supplementary P and Fe resulted in marked increases in both dry weight and chlorophyll concentrations for all three cultivars achieving values not significantly different to the control. Zinc concentration in plant tissues increased to toxic levels for all three cultivars in the high Zn treatment. Application of supplementary P and Fe decreased Zn concentration in the leaves and roots of plants grown at high Zn, but Zn concentrations were still at toxic levels. Phosphorus and Fe concentration in leaves declined to a deficient level in the high Zn treatment, but was markedly increased in the roots. Application of supplementary P and Fe corrected both P and Fe deficiencies in leaves of plants grown at high Zn and reduced root P and Fe concentrations.