Sulphur status in soil and its prominence in plants
August 23rd, 2016 | Muhammad Haseeb Ullah, Dr. Masood Iqbal Awan, Kamran Akhtar, and Muhammad Zain | No Comments
Sulphur (S) is crucial nutrient element for plants growth and development. The protein forming
sulphur nutrient, is 9th in the row of 17 essential nutrients. Sulphur is an imperative nutrient for
best plant growth: it is one of the fundamental macro elements essential for better plant growth.
Sulphur is a component of methionine and cysteine in plants.
Quality and yield of oil seed crop can affected due to inadequate supply of sulphur nutrient. It is also essential for more flowering
and seed set in canola. In legumes sulphur is necessary for the efficient fixation of nitrogen by
the plant. This makes sulphur of fundamental importance in the establishment and maintenance
of legume-based improved pastures. Sulphur is also an essential part of protein needed for wheat
grain to produce flour suitable for bread-making.
Sulphur is necessary for protein and enzyme synthesis as well it is a constituent of the amino
acids methionine and cysteine in plants. Sulphur is also a component of key enzymes and
vitamins in the plant and is necessary for the formation of chlorophyll.
In the last decades, deposition of sulphur (S) has come down by 30-40%, areas of sulphur
deficiency are becoming widespread throughout the world it is due to following reasons
Use of high-analysis low sulphur fertilizers.
Less sulphur revenues with farmyard manure.
Intensive agriculture and high yielding varieties.
Declining use of sulphur containing fungicides, and cheap atmospheric inputs caused by
stricter emission regulations.
Sulphur is significant nutritional element in plant and it deficiency shows following symptoms in
Yellowing of leaves and interveinal chlorosis in plants, which is similar to nitrogen
Sulfur deficient plants will grow slower and have a delayed maturity.
The plants tend to develop thin stems and petioles, and become spindly.
Younger leaves will show the deficiency first than the older leaves due to immobility of
sulphur in plants.
Sulfur deficiency could occur early in the growing season when root systems in younger
plants not fully develop. Plants overcome the sulfur deficiency later in the season when
soil mineralization rates increase and a larger root explore a greater volume of soil.
Sulphur imparts deep rich green colour to plant canopy, especially in alfalfa, and is taken by
plants in sulphate (SO 4 2- ) form sulphate is moderately susceptible to leaching in sandy soils,
though not as much as nitrogen (N), due to formation of less soluble calcium sulphate in soils.
To overcome the problems associated with S deficiency a number of S-containing fertilizers as
well as other S containing by-products from industrial processes are available.
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