Influence of zinc deficiency on the mineral composition of maize plants in contrasting soils


  • Caio Ricardos dos Santos Domingues Universidade Federal do Paraná
  • Julierme Zimmer Barbosa Universidade Federal do Paraná
  • Rangel Consalter Universidade Federal do Paraná
  • Maisa dos Santos Universidade Federal do Paraná
  • Wiliam Magrim Adam Universidade Federal do Paraná
  • Antônio Carlos Vargas Motta Universidade Federal do Paraná



Zea mays L, nutritional status, Fe accumulation, metal toxicity, Fe, Zn ratio


In Brazil, Zn deficiency is common in soils used for maize cultivation. However, the changes in the mineral composition in plants with Zn deficiency have been little studied. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the relationship between Zn deficiency and the mineral composition in the parts of maize plants grown under contrasting soils. Maize was grown in greenhouse conditions with increasing of Zn rate (0, 0.125, 0.25, 0.5 and 1.0 mg kg-1) in two soils (Ferralsol and Cambisol). After 60 days of emergence, the plant were separated into roots, stalk nodes, stalk internodes, leaves and leaf sheath, and subsequently determined the dry matter and mineral composition (P, Ca, Mg, K, Zn, Fe, Mn, Cu and Al). Besides the symptoms commonly described for Zn deficiency, darkening of the stalk nodes was found (related to the preferential accumulation of Fe), and also occurred maize P deficiency in the Ferralsol. The Zn deficiency favored increasing concentrations of Fe, Mn and Al in all parts of maize plants in Cambisol, whereas in Ferralsol this did not happen for any of the elements analyzed. Relations between the elements and Zn were more correlated with maize dry matter production than Zn concentrations in leaves, leaf sheaths and stalk nodes. In conclusion, the accumulation of minerals in maize was favored by Zn deficiency, especially for maize in Cambisol.


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How to Cite

DOMINGUES, C.R. dos S., BARBOSA, J.Z., CONSALTER, R., DOS SANTOS, M., ADAM, W.M. and MOTTA, A.C.V., 2016. Influence of zinc deficiency on the mineral composition of maize plants in contrasting soils . Bioscience Journal [online], vol. 32, no. 5, pp. 1234–1245. [Accessed13 April 2024]. DOI 10.14393/BJ-v32n5a2016-32993. Available from:



Agricultural Sciences