University of California

Injurious effects of manganese and iron deficiencies on the growth of citrus


A. R. C. Haas

Author Affiliations

A. R. C. Haas was Associate Plant Physiologist in the Experiment Station.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 7(4):181-206. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v07n04p181. November 1932.

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The presence of a small amount of manganese is known to be essential for chlorophyll formation in certain plants, while the presence of an excess is destructive to chlorophyll. It is believed that neither iron nor manganese is a constituent of chlorophyll. Iron is the only element commonly spoken of as being a catalyzer of chlorophyll formation. The importance of manganese in chlorophyll catalysis is becoming increasingly more evident, which is believed to be indirectly due to its action upon the iron of the cells. Interest in these elements is increased because very little is known regarding their effects on the growth of citrus, and especially of their possible bearing on the mottle-leaf problem.

With citrus in sand or solution cultures no manganese-deficiency symptoms could be obtained when so-called “chemically pure” iron was used except in cases where a minimum of iron was used with cultures of rapidly growing 2 to 3-year-old trees. Chemical analysis showed that every source of iron available for culture solutions was contaminated with manganese to a greater or lesser extent, and that until manganese-free iron was prepared it was impossible to differentiate between the effects of deficiencies of iron and manganese.

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Haas A. 1932. Injurious effects of manganese and iron deficiencies on the growth of citrus. Hilgardia 7(4):181-206. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v07n04p181
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