Calcium deficiency

Calcium (Ca) is immobile in the phloem of plants and, since it plays an important role in the growth of meristematic tissue, symptoms of Ca deficiency always appear in new growth. Plant roots are generally the first tissues to show Ca deficiency. As with a boron deficiency, the main roots become shortened with a proliferation of stunted laterals. Wheat leaves do not become chlorotic with Ca deficiency; old leaves, particularly, retain their dark green color.

The first definitive symptom is a necrotic spotting about the middle of the leaf on the newest growth. This area quickly expands and the leaf collapses midway before unrolling. Severe copper (Cu) deficiency can produce similar symptoms in the new growth. However, for Cu, unlike Ca, there are generally older leaves showing "withertip" as well as the new growth. Additionally, in Ca deficiency, the section above the central collapse remains green for some time, whereas in Cu deficiency, the section above the collapse withers and quickly becomes necrotic. The general greenness and erect growth habit of Ca-deficient plants is another feature that contrasts Cu deficiency where plants are pale and appear wilted. Calcium deficiency in wheat in the field is very uncommon.

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