Potassium plays a key role in water transport, growth regulation, and protein synthesis. Potassium deficiency is an abiotic disorder with typical symptoms such as yellowing of the leaves from the edge. Other symptoms include rusty-colored dead spots, curling of leaf tips, and chlorosis between leaf veins.
Typical symptoms of potassium deficiency in plants include brown scorching and curling of leaf tips as well as chlorosis (yellowing) between leaf veins. Purple spots may also appear on the leaf undersides. Plant growth, root development, and seed and fruit development are usually reduced in potassium-deficient plants. Often, potassium deficiency symptoms first appear on older (lower) leaves because potassium is a mobile nutrient, meaning that a plant can allocate potassium to younger leaves when it is K deficient. Deficient plants may be more prone to frost damage and disease, and their symptoms can often be confused with wind scorch or drought. The deficiency is most common in several important fruit and vegetable crops; notably potatoes, brassicas, tomatoes, apples, currants, gooseberries, and raspberries. Sugar beets, cereals, and clover are also commonly affected.
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