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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Crop Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #214815

Title: Potassium Influences on Yield and Quality Production for Maize, Wheat, Soybean and Cotton

item Pettigrew, William

Submitted to: Physiologia Plantarum
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/22/2008
Publication Date: 7/14/2008
Citation: Pettigrew, W.T. 2008. Potassium Influences on Yield and Quality Production for Maize, Wheat, Soybean and Cotton. Physiologia Plantarum. 133:670-681.

Interpretive Summary: Crop yield production and quality development is dependent upon sufficient potassium levels being available during growth and development. Although not a structural component of the cell or any cellular component, potassium is intimately in many plant physiological and biochemical processes. This review manuscript complies information from numerous journal references and other sources to present the current state of the art and understanding of how potassium influences many of the underlying physiological processes that determine yield and quality productivity. Researchers can utilize this paper to identify gaps in the current knowledge base and initiate projects to fill those knowledge gaps. Producers can use information presented in this paper as an aid in the decision making process regarding input usage. This manuscript can fortify the knowledge base and background that consultants and extension specialists draw upon to advise their producer customers and clients.

Technical Abstract: Potassium is one of the principle plant nutrients underpinning crop yield production and quality determination. While involved in many physiological processes, potassium's impact on water relations, photosynthesis, assimilate transport, and enzyme activation can have direct consequences on crop productivity. Potassium deficiency can lead to a reduction in both the number of leaves produced and the size on individual leaves. Coupling this reduced amount of photosynthetic source material with a reduction in the photosyntheic rate per unit leaf area and the result is an overall reduction in the amount of photosynthetic assimilates available for reproductive growth. The production of less photosynthetic assimilates and reduced assimilate transport out of the leaves to the developing fruit greatly contributes to the negative consequences deficiencies of potassium have on yield and quality production. Goals aimed toward increasing crop productivity and improved quality dictate either more requirements for potassium or more efficient use of potassium. Developing plants that more efficiently use potassium might be a worthwhile goal for geneticists.