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Growth and potassium uptake by Maize (Zea mays L.) in three soils differing in clay contents

Abdul Wakeel, Tahir Aziz,Tariq Aziz,Anwar ul-Hassan.

Soil texture affects nutrient availability in soil hence affects plant growth. Soils high in clay contents retain more K+, and generally plants grown on these soils do not respond to appliedK+. A pot experiment was conducted to evaluate growth response and K+uptake by maize plants grown on three different textured soils. There were four K+ levels 0, 50, 100 and 150 mg K+/kg soil. Ten seeds of hybrid maize (cv. Magic) were sown in each pot which was replicated four times. Crop was harvested after seven weeks. Root and shoot dry matter was recorded and samples were analysed for K+ concentration. Soil texture significantly (p< 0.05) affected biomass production by maize plants. Shoot dry matter produced was maximum in plants grown in sandy soil. Root growth was minimum in soil high in clay contents compared to plant grown in sandysoil. Root to shoot dry matter ratio correlated negatively with clay contents (r = 0.91) showing limited root growth in soils high in clay contents. It also influenced total dry matter (TDM) as indicated by its positive correlation (r = 0.83). Potassium application did not affected plant growth in soil high in clay content, however, K+ uptake was increased with an increase in K+level in soils low in clay contents. Total dry matter was significantly correlated (r = 0.83) with root K+uptake, but correlation with shoot K+uptake was not significant.

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