Effect of Magnesium Nutrition of Onion (Allium cepa L.). Part I. Yielding and Nutrient Status

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Effect of Magnesium Nutrition of Onion (Allium cepa L.). Part I. Yielding and Nutrient Status

Magnesium (Mg) serves specific physiological functions in plants, as it participates in 250÷400 processes and may not be replaced by other elements, even those exhibiting similar physicochemical properties, such as Co2+, Mn2+ or Ni2+. The aim of the conducted studies was to optimize magnesium nutrition of onion (Allium cepa L.), through the evaluation of yielding of plants, and to determine its effect on contents of the following elements in leaves and bulbs: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg). Magnesium was applied in the quick-acting form, MgSO4·7H2O, based on the chemical analyses of soil, in doses corresponding to 50, 100, 150 and 200 mg Mg·dm-3 soil. The other nutrients were supplemented to standard levels recommended for the cultivation of onion, amounting to (in mg·dm-3 soil) 150 N, 80 P and 200 K. Magnesium nutrition was found to have a positive effect on yielding of onion and its quality. Significantly the highest total yield (4.85 kg·m-2) and merchantable yield (4.78 kg·m-2) were obtained when applying Mg-100, which amounted to an increase by 38% and 45% in comparison with the control combination. Plant nutrition with magnesium in case of leaves significantly affected an improvement of their nutrient status for nitrogen, deterioration of calcium nutrition, while in case of leaves and bulbs that of potassium. Analyzed levels of magnesium nutrition had a significant effect on nutrient status of leaves and bulbs for this nutrient. Leaves accumulated more nitrogen, potassium, calcium and magnesium than bulbs. Controlled magnesium nutrition of plants is an effective method of biofortification of onion with this nutrient.

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