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Ann Bot. 2005 Oct;96(5):745-54. Epub 2005 Jul 20.

The role of molybdenum in agricultural plant production.

Author information

1
Discipline of Wine and Horticulture, School of Agriculture and Wine, University of Adelaide, PMB 1 Glen Osmond, South Australia 5064, Australia. brent.kaiser@adelaide.edu.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The importance of molybdenum for plant growth is disproportionate with respect to the absolute amounts required by most plants. Apart from Cu, Mo is the least abundant essential micronutrient found in most plant tissues and is often set as the base from which all other nutrients are compared and measured. Molybdenum is utilized by selected enzymes to carry out redox reactions. Enzymes that require molybdenum for activity include nitrate reductase, xanthine dehydrogenase, aldehyde oxidase and sulfite oxidase.

SCOPE:

Loss of Mo-dependent enzyme activity (directly or indirectly through low internal molybdenum levels) impacts upon plant development, in particular, those processes involving nitrogen metabolism and the synthesis of the phytohormones abscisic acid and indole-3 butyric acid. Currently, there is little information on how plants access molybdate from the soil solution and redistribute it within the plant. In this review, the role of molybdenum in plants is discussed, focusing on its current constraints in some agricultural situations and where increased molybdenum nutrition may aid in agricultural plant development and yields.

CONCLUSIONS:

Molybdenum deficiencies are considered rare in most agricultural cropping areas; however, the phenotype is often misdiagnosed and attributed to other downstream effects associated with its role in various enzymatic redox reactions. Molybdenum fertilization through foliar sprays can effectively supplement internal molybdenum deficiencies and rescue the activity of molybdoenzymes. The current understanding on how plants access molybdate from the soil solution or later redistribute it once in the plant is still unclear; however, plants have similar physiological molybdenum transport phenotypes to those found in prokaryotic systems. Thus, careful analysis of existing prokaryotic molybdate transport mechanisms, as well as a re-examination of know anion transport mechanisms present in plants, will help to resolve how this important trace element is accumulated.

PMID:
16033776
PMCID:
PMC4247040
DOI:
10.1093/aob/mci226
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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