Pyruvate kinase activity as an indicator of the level of K(+), Mg(2+), and Ca(2+) in leaves and fruits of the cucumber: the role of potassium fertilization

J Agric Food Chem. 1999 Mar;47(3):845-9. doi: 10.1021/jf980871g.


Little is known about the effects of K(+) fertilization on pyruvate kinase (PK) activities in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Brunex) grown in the greenhouse on calcareous soils. Here, the effect of K rates on the concentrations of K(+), Mg(2+), and Ca(2+) and on the PK activity as a possible indicator of the levels of these cations in the leaves and fruits of cucumber plants has been studied. The treatments consisted of applications of three rates of K in the form of K(2)SO(4) (K1 = 0.075 mg mL(-)(1), K2 = 0.15 mg mL(-)(1), and K3 = 0.30 mg mL(-)(1)). In general, K(+) application in calcareous soils proved beneficial. The highest application of K(+) (K3) to the culture medium reduced, in both the leaves and fruits, the foliar concentrations of Mg(2+) and Ca(2+). These results are reflected by the lowest basal PK activities and the highest differences between the basal PK activity and activities stimulated by these two cations. The opposite effect resulted with K2, with maximal basal PK activity and minimal differences between this activity and activities stimulated by the cations, indicating a better balance in this treatment between the different cations under the experimental conditions. Finally, this trend might partly account for the highest commercial yield in plants treated with K2.

MeSH terms

  • Calcium / analysis*
  • Cucumis sativus / chemistry*
  • Cucumis sativus / growth & development
  • Fertilizers*
  • Magnesium / analysis*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Potassium / analysis*
  • Pyruvate Kinase / metabolism*


  • Fertilizers
  • Pyruvate Kinase
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Calcium