Critical levels of nutrients in leaf tissue are influenced by plant metabolism, environment, and nutrient availability. In this study, we measured the elemental concentrations in fully expanded, upper canopy potato (Solunum tuberosum cv. Norland) leaves throughout growth and development in a controlled environment. Plants were grown hydroponically (NFT) in NASA's Biomass Production Chamber using a complete nutrient solution with the electrical conductivity maintained continuously at 0.12 S m-1. Photoperiod and air and root zone temperatures were changed midseason to promote tuberization, while CO2 levels were maintained at 1000 μmol mol-1 throughout growth. During vegetative growth, leaf nutrient concentrations remained relatively constant, except for a decline in Ca. During tuber enlargement and plant maturation, overall nutrient uptake decreased. Concentrations of the less mobile nutrients such as Ca, Mg, and B increased in the leaf tissue during mature growth, but somewhat surprisingly, highly mobile K also increased. Leaf concentrations of P, Zn, and Cu decreased during maturation.
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