Across Regions

The K-factor: Scientists take a closer look at the critical role of potassium in plant stress response

Related imageScientists in China published a research paper a few years back on potassium and its influence on plants, in particular how plants respond to stress. “Potassium (K) is an essential nutrient that affects most of the biochemical and physiological processes that influence plant growth and metabolism. It also contributes to the survival of plants exposed to various biotic and abiotic stresses,” they wrote. Their review focuses on the emerging role of K in defending against a number of biotic and abiotic stresses, including diseases, pests, drought, salinity, cold and frost and waterlogging. The availability of K and its effects on plant growth, anatomy, morphology and plant metabolism are discussed. The physiological and molecular mechanisms of K function in plant stress resistance are reviewed. The researchers also evaluate the potential for improving plant stress resistance by modifying K fertilizer inputs and highlights the future needs for research about the role of K in agriculture. Read the abstract and full paper