Magnesium deficiency in plants: An urgent problem

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Although magnesium (Mg) is one of the most important nutrients, involved in many enzyme activities and the structural stabilization of tissues, its importance as a macronutrient ion has been overlooked in recent decades by botanists and agriculturists, who did not regard Mg deficiency (MGD) in plants as a severe health problem. However, recent studies have shown, surprisingly, that Mg contents in historical cereal seeds have markedly declined over time, and two thirds of people surveyed in developed countries received less than their minimum daily Mg requirement. Thus, the mechanisms of response to MGD and ways to increase Mg contents in plants are two urgent practical problems. In this review, we discuss several aspects of MGD in plants, including phenotypic and physiological changes, cell Mg2 + homeostasis control by Mg2 + transporters, MGD signaling, interactions between Mg2 + and other ions, and roles of Mg2 + in plant secondary metabolism. Our aim is to improve understanding of the influence of MGD on plant growth and development and to advance crop breeding for Mg enrichment.




Guo, W., Nazim, H., Liang, Z., & Yang, D. (2016, April 1). Magnesium deficiency in plants: An urgent problem. Crop Journal. Crop Science Society of China/ Institute of Crop Sciences.

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