1. What does a plant need to grow from seed and complete its life cycle? What is the difference between the requirements of a plant and an animal?
2. What is an essential element? How many have been identified? What is the difference between an essential element and a beneficial one? Provide an example of each.
3. What is a nutrient solution? Why is it more convenient to use liquid medium, as opposed to soil, to grow plants in nutritional studies? In nutrient solutions, nitrogen can be supplied as NH4+ or NO3–. Which one would use in a nutritional study?
4. What is the difference between a macronutrient and a micronutrient? Provide a reason for the inability of plant physiologists to identify micronutrients in early nutritional studies. Why is it difficult to supply iron in nutrient solutions? What is the best way to overcome this difficulty?
5. What is a mineral deficiency? How can a mineral deficiency be recognized? How can farmers benefit from nutrient analysis?