University of California

The effects of phosphorus deficiency on citrus


H. D. Chapman
S. M. Brown

Authors Affiliations

H. D. Chapman was Associate Professor of Agricultural Chemistry and Associate Chemist in the Experiment Station; S. M. Brown was Assistant Chemist in the Experiment Station.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 14(4):161-181. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v14n04p161. November 1941.

PDF of full article, Cite this article


Abstract does not appear. First page follows.


Information concerning the effects of mineral deficiencies and excesses on plants has proved of great value in the diagnosis of nutritional disorders in the field and has also provided many clues as to the function and interrelation of elements in plant metabolism and nutrition. In the case of citrus, knowledge of this subject, though extensive, is far from complete. Certain deficiencies, for example, have never been seen or produced on bearing trees; nor is it known, in many instances, which of the effects of a deficiency are primary and which secondary. Investigations concerned with various phases of citrus nutrition have led to the realization that a more thorough understanding of this subject is indispensable—is, in fact, a necessary cornerstone for further effective work. There are indications, too, that certain obscure physiological disorders affecting fruit production and fruit quality may be related to nutrition. Hence considerable experimental work has been carried out and is under way to extend our knowledge of the incipient andacute effects of deficiencies and excesses of mineral elements on the various species of citrus.

In connection with a soil-fertilizer experiment with young nave-lorange trees in large containers (55-gallon oil drums), acute phosphorus deficiency developed in one of the soils used. Since, to the knowledge of the authors, the effects of a lack of this element on bearing orange trees have never been described, an account of the onset and progressive stages of this disorder is set forth herein.

Literature Cited

[1] Allwright W. J. Progress report on the fertiliser trials at Rustenburg, Western Transvaal. Citrus Grower. 1936. 45:3-5. 7.

[2] Anderssen F. G. Citrus manuring—its effect on cropping and on the composition and keeping quality of oranges. Jour. Pomol. and Hort. Sci. 1937. 15(2):117-59.

[3] Blake M. A., Nightingale G. T., Davidson O. W. Nutrition of apple trees. New Jersey Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 1937. 626:1-41.

[4] Chapman H. D. The phosphate of southern California soils in relation to citrus fertilization. California Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 1934. 571:1-22. https://archive.org/details/phosphateofsouth571chap

[5] Chapman H. D. Inorganic phosphate in green plant tissue as a measure of phosphate availability. Soil Sci. 1935. 39:111-22. DOI: 10.1097/00010694-193502000-00003 [CrossRef]

[6] Chapman H. D., Brown S. M. The effects of sulfur deficiency on citrus. Hilgardia. 1941. 14(4):183-201. DOI: 10.3733/hilg.v14n04p183 [CrossRef]

[7] Chapman H. D., Liebig George F. Jr., Parker E. R. Manganese studies [on] California soils and citrus leaf symptoms of deficiency. California Citrog. 1939. 24(12):427 454; 25(1): 11, 15.

[8] Eckerson Sophia II. Influence of phosphorus deficiency on metabolism of the tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.). Boyce Thompson Inst. Contrib. 1931. 3:197-218.

[9] Fisher Paul Lewis. Responses of the tomato in solution cultures with deficiencies and excesses of certain essential elements. Maryland Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 1935. 375:283-98.

[10] Haas A. R. C. Phosphorus deficiency in citrus. Soil Sci. 1936. 42:93-117. DOI: 10.1097/00010694-193608000-00003 [CrossRef]

[11] Hoagland D. R., Chandler W. H. Some effects of deficiencies of phosphate and potassium on the growth and composition of fruit trees under controlled conditions. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. Proc. 1932. 29:267-71.

[12] Karraker P. E., Bortner C. E. Symptoms of phosphorus deficiency in Turkish tobacco. Amer. Soc. Agron. Jour. 1933. 25(8):556-58. DOI: 10.2134/agronj1933.00021962002500080009x [CrossRef]

[13] Lyon Charles J. The effect of phosphates on respiration. Jour. Gen. Physiol. 1923. 6:299-306. DOI: 10.1085/jgp.6.3.299 [CrossRef]

[14] Lyon Charles J. The role of phosphate in plant respiration. Amer. Jour. Bot. 1927. 14:274-83. DOI: 10.2307/2435642 [CrossRef]

[15] McMurtrey J. E. Jr. Symptoms on field-grown tobacco characteristic of the deficient supply of each of several essential chemical elements. U. S. Dept. Agr. Tech. Bul. 1938. 612:1-30.

[16] Reed Howard Sprague. The value of certain nutritive elements to the plant cell. Ann. Bot. [London]. 1907. 21:501-43.

[17] Truog E. The determination of the readily available phosphorus of soils. Amer. Soc. Agron. Jour. 1930. 22:874-82. DOI: 10.2134/agronj1930.00021962002200100008x [CrossRef]

[18] Wallace T. Some effects of deficiencies of essential elements on fruit trees. Ann. Appl. Biol. 1930. 17:649-57. DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7348.1930.tb07238.x [CrossRef]

Chapman H, Brown S. 1941. The effects of phosphorus deficiency on citrus. Hilgardia 14(4):161-181. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v14n04p161
Webmaster Email: sjosterman@ucanr.edu