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CALCIUM

Calcium is a chemical element, symbol Ca, atomic number 20 (20 protons and 20 electrons) and atomic mass 40 u. It is a family of alkaline-ferrous metal belonging to group 2 of the periodic table of chemical elements.

CALCIUM SOURCES

Calcium is the fifth element in abundance in the earth's crust. It is not found in native state in nature, being always as the Rock constituents or mineral such as those containing carbonates (marble, calcite, limestone and dolomite) and sulfates (gypsum, alabaster) fluorite (fluoride), apatite (calcium fluorophosphate) and granite (silicate rocks).

CALCIUM IN AGRICULTURE

Calcium is a secondary macronutrient with magnesium (Mg) and sulfur (S). The indirect effects of calcium are as important as its role as a nutrient. The calcium enhances root growth, promotes increased microbial activity, increased availability of molybdenum (Mo) and other nutrients.

PHYSIOLOGICAL FUNCTION

The calcium takes part in enzymatic functions in phosphate transfer processes, for example, the phospholipase enzyme. Constituent pectates, which are deposited in the middle lamella, giving resistance to cell walls. Constituent or activator of several enzymes such as alpha amylase and nucleases.

It is a calcium pectates component of the middle lamella, which is important for the occurrence of mitosis.

In the cytosol, Ca +2 occurs in minute quantities (-7 10 - 10 -8 M) having an important second messenger in signal function translational pathways, sometimes calmodulin with a binding to a protein which is activated by Ca (has 4 calcium binding sites) which in turn can activate enzymes.

Contrary to what occurs with most nutrients, calcium only moves through apoplast. Its entry in the root is therefore restricted to points where streaks of Caspary not consolidated as occurs at the tips of roots or when the differentiation of secondary roots that form breaking the endoderm.

CALCIUM FORMS AVAILABLE AND ABSORPTION

The available forms of Ca ++ are adsorbed on soil colloids. By cation exchange, they pass into the soil solution and then are absorbed by plants. This absorption occurs mainly through mass flow and minor root for interception. The majority of calcium is located in the cell walls.

CALCIUM DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS IN PLANTS

The symptoms are:

  • Death of apical bud;
  • Chlorosis and tissue necrosis in young leaves (deficiency symptoms in Ca +2 are more pronounced in young tissues, since practically nonexistent your transport in the phloem);
  • Deformed and wound tissues are found deficient plants;
  • The empty pods in soya and maize leaves are curled calcium deficiency symptoms;
  • Slippery roots (no stiffness), or necrosis in new parts as in estilar rot of tomato, the distal part of the fruit, for lack of calcium in the soil or lack of transpiration flow (drought).

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