Colorado Agriscience Curriculum - DOC by pengtt


									Colorado Agriscience Curriculum Development

Section: Plant and Soil Science

Unit: Environmental Factors

Lesson Number: 8

Lesson Title: Functions of Essential Nutrients in Plant Growth

Agriculture Education Standards:
AS 11/12.4-16

Colorado Science Standard:

Student Learning Objectives/Enablers
  As a result of this lesson, the student will. . .
        1. be able to list 3 primary nutrients and their functions.
        2. be able to list 3 secondary nutrients and their functions.
        3. be able to list 8 micro nutrients and their functions.
        4. be able to list 3 nutrients which are extracted by plants from the air.

Time: Instruction time for this lesson: 50 minutes.


Tools, Equipment, and Supplies

Key Terms: The following terms are presented in this lesson and appear in bold italics:

NITROGEN                                             CHLORINE
PHOSPHORUS                                           COPPER
POTASSIUM                                            IRON
CALCIUM                                              MAGANESE
MAGNESIUM                                            MOLYBDENUM
SULPHUR                                              ZINC

Interest Approach

Gather various small puzzles. Take a piece from each puzzle. Have the student work on
putting the puzzle together and that it must be completed in the amount of time you feel it
should take the students to complete the project. When the students are unable to complete the
puzzle ask them why not. Answers should be that pieces are missing and the puzzle has to have
all the pieces to be completed.

Just as there are a certain number of pieces need to complete the puzzle a plant needs all the
essential nutrients to reach its full potential. There are 16 of these nutrients called essential

PowerPoint to help with following

Sixteen plant food nutrients are essential for proper crop development. Each is equally
important to the plant, yet each is required in vastly different amounts. These differences have
led to the grouping of these essential elements into three categories; primary (macro) nutrients,
secondary nutrients, and micronutrients.


Primary (macro) nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. They are the most
frequently required in a crop fertilization program. Also, they are need in the greatest total
quantity by plants as fertilizer.


                                Necessary for formation of amino acids, the building blocks of
                                Essential for plant cell division, vital for plant growth
                                Directly involved in photosynthesis
                                Necessary component of vitamins
                                Aids in production and use of carbohydrates
                                Affects energy reactions in the plant
                                Involved in photosynthesis, respiration, energy storage and
                               transfer, cell division, and enlargement
                                Promotes early root formation and growth
                                Improves quality of fruits, vegetables, and grains
                                Vital to seed formation
                                Helps plants survive harsh winter conditions
                                Increases water-use efficiency
                                Hastens maturity

                                Carbohydrate metabolism and the break down and
                               translocation of starches
                                Increases photosynthesis
                                Increases water-use efficiency
                                Essential to protein synthesis
                              Important in fruit formation
                              Activates enzymes and controls their reaction rates
                              Improves quality of seeds and fruit
                               Improves winter hardiness
                               Increases disease resistance

The secondary nutrients are calcium, magnesium, and sulphur. For most crops, these three are
needed in lesser amounts that the primary nutrients. They are growing in importance in crop
fertilization programs due to more stringent clean air standards and efforts to improve the


                               Utilized for Continuous cell division and formation
                               Involved in nitrogen metabolism
                              Reduces plant respiration
                              Aids translocation of photosynthesis from leaves to fruiting
                              Increases fruit set
                              Essential for nut development in peanuts
                              Stimulates microbial activity

                              Key element of chlorophyll production
                              Improves utilization and mobility of phosphorus
                              Activator and component of many plant enzymes
                              Directly related to grass tetany
                              Increases iron utilization in plants
                              Influences earliness and uniformity of maturity

                              Integral part of amino acids
                              Helps develop enzymes and vitamins
                              Promotes nodule formation on legumes
                              Aids in seed production
                              Necessary in chlorophyll formation (though it isn’t one of the

The micronutrients are boron, chlorine, cooper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc.
These plant food elements are used in very small amounts, but they are just as important to
plant development and profitable crop production as the major nutrients. Especially, they work
"behind the scene" as activators of many plant functions.


                             Essential of germination of pollon grains and growth of pollen
                             Essential for seed and cell wall formation
                             Promotes maturity
                             Necessary for sugar translocation
                             Affects nitrogen and carbohydrate
                             Not much information about its functions
                             Interferes with P uptake
                             Enhances maturity of small grains on some soils
                             Catalyzes several plant processes
                             Major function in photosynthesis
                             Major function in reproductive stages
                             Indirect role in chlorophyll production
                             Increases sugar content
                             Intensifies color
                             Improves flavor of fruits and vegetables
                             Promotes formation of chlorophyll
                             Acts as an oxygen carrier
                             Reactions involving cell division and growth
                             Functions as a part of certain enzyme systems
                             Aids in chlorophyll synthesis
                             Increases the availability of P and CA
                             Required to form the enzyme "nitrate reductas" which reduces
                             nitrates to ammonium in plant
                             Aids in the formation of legume nodules
                             Needed to convert inorganic phosphates to organic forms in the
                             Aids plant growth hormones and enzyme system
                             Necessary for chlorophyll production
                             Necessary for carbohydrate formation
                             Necessary for starch formation
                             Aids in seed formation
In addition to the 13 nutrients listed above, plants require carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, which
are extracted from air and water to make up the bulk of plant weight.


Extended Classroom Activity:

      1. Have students use the above mentioned essential nutrients on test
         plots of crop plants. Compare results.

           a. Different combinations can be used, both amounts
           of nutrients and types of elements.

FFA Activity

Encourage students to be involved in the state horticulture CDE’s

SAE Activity

Students can take the Extended Classroom Activity one step further by writing a paper on the
results and developing a theory about those results. This can be used as any experimental


(PSS. Unit 5 Lesson 8 Assess)

Answers to Assessment:
       1. Necessary for formation of amino acids, the building blocks of protein.

       2. Directly related to grass tetany.

       3. Improves flavor of fruits and

       4. Acts as an oxygen carrier._____IRON______________
    5. Plants require _Hydrogen__, _Carbon________, and
       ___oxygen____ which are extracted from the air.

Functions of Essential Nutrients in Plant Growth
  Unit 5
  Lesson 8


    1. Necessary for formation of amino acids, the building blocks of protein.

    2. Directly related to grass tetany. _____________________

    3. Improves flavor of fruits and vegetables.____________

    4. Acts as an oxygen carrier.________________________

    5. Plants require __________, _________________, and
       ___________ which are extracted from the air.

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