Potassium influences on yield and quality production for maize, wheat, soybean and cotton

Physiol Plant. 2008 Aug;133(4):670-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3054.2008.01073.x. Epub 2008 Mar 5.


Potassium is one of the principle plant nutrients underpinning crop yield production and quality determination. While involved in many physiological processes, potassium's impact on water relations, photosynthesis, assimilate transport and enzyme activation can have direct consequences on crop productivity. Potassium deficiency can lead to a reduction in both the number of leaves produced and the size of individual leaves. Coupling this reduced amount of photosynthetic source material with a reduction in the photosynthetic rate per unit leaf area, and the result is an overall reduction in the amount of photosynthetic assimilates available for growth. The production of less photosynthetic assimilates and reduced assimilate transport out of the leaves to the developing fruit greatly contributes to the negative consequences that deficiencies of potassium have on yield and quality production. Goals aimed toward increasing crop productivity and improved quality dictate either increased potassium supply or more efficient use of potassium. Developing plants that more efficiently use potassium might be a worthwhile goal for geneticists.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Crops, Agricultural / growth & development*
  • Crops, Agricultural / physiology
  • Crops, Agricultural / standards*
  • Glycine max / growth & development
  • Glycine max / physiology
  • Gossypium / growth & development
  • Gossypium / physiology
  • Potassium / metabolism*
  • Triticum / growth & development
  • Triticum / physiology
  • Zea mays / growth & development
  • Zea mays / physiology


  • Potassium