Aim of the course is to give to the students an overview of the main biochemical and physiological aspects and problems linked to the role of mineral nutrients in plant metabolism with particular emphases on grapevine. Chemical, biochemical and physical sides that in the plant-soil system can influence nutrient supply will be considered together with nutrient functions in the plants. These aspects will be discussed in relation to qualitative and quantitative aspects of production.
Definition and classification of mineral nutrients. The soil as a plant nutrient medium. Cation adsorption and exchange. Anion adsorption. Soil colloids: main nutritional characteristics of clays and soil organic matter. Movement of nutrients to the root surface: interception, mass flow and diffusion. Composition of soil solution: intensity/quantity ratio. Root and soil factors able to affect nutrient acquisition. The rhizosphere: definition and relevant characteristics. Chemical modification of rhizospheric soil. Plant-microorganisms interactions in the rhizosphere. Ion uptake and long-distance transport. Role of macro- and micro-nutrients in the soil-plant system: availability in the soil and functions in the plants. Soil analysis. Plant analysis.
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