Latent manganese deficiency in barley can be diagnosed and remediated on the basis of chlorophyll a fluorescence measurements

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Background and aims: Manganese (Mn) deficiency represents a major plant nutritional disorder in winter cereals. The deficiency frequently occurs latently and the lack of visual symptoms prevents timely remediation and cause significant yield reductions. These problems prompted us to investigate chlorophyll (Chl) a fluorescence as a tool for diagnosis of latent Mn deficiency. Methods: Barley plants grown under controlled greenhouse conditions or in the field were exposed to different intensities of Mn deficiency. The responses were characterised by analysis of Chl a fluorescence, photosystem II (PSII) proteins and mineral elements. Results: Analysis of the Chl a fluorescence induction kinetics (FIK) revealed distinct changes long before any visual symptoms of Mn deficiency were apparent. The changes were specific for Mn and did not occur in Mg, S, Fe or Cu deficient plants. The changes in Mn deficient plants were accompanied by a marked reduction of the D1 protein in PSII. Foliar Mn application fully restored PSII functionality, ensured winter survival, and increased grain yields under field conditions. Conclusions: The efficiency and stability of PSII are markedly affected by latent Mn deficiency. Chlorophyll a fluorescence measurements constitute a powerful and valuable tool for diagnosis and remediation of latent Mn deficiency.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)417-429
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ID: 102109480