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An Introduction to Biochemistry by William Robert Fearon (Auth.)

By William Robert Fearon (Auth.)

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Present in all plants, the values ranging from less than 1 mg. up to about 200 mg. Mn per kg. dry material. Representative figures are : wheat-bran, 100-200 ; beetroot, oats, spinach, wheat-grain, 25-100 ; edible fruits, less than 15. The maximum was found in lettuce, namely, 216-2 mg. Mn per kg. These values vary greatly with soil condi­ tions, and the Mn content of seeds is important, since it may be the only source available for the growing plant. The Mn content of cereal grain is often equal to or greater than the Fe content.

The suitability of the biological elements would appear to be set beyond discussion by the mere fact of their presence in the organism. 42 AN INTRODUCTION TO BIOCHEMISTRY Underlying this, however, is the deeper question as to whether the determinants of organisation are, in turn, determined by the proper­ ties of the elements, or whether there is a process of chemical selection at work gradually altering and improving the framework of life. 03 Carbon ZO. SO Calcium 2. AS Phosphorus 1. 16 ENVIRONMENT Percentage.

The response of plants to iron depends both on the nature of the salt supplied and the nature of the soil. A slight deficiency of iron can diminish greatly the yield of a crop without causing much change in appearance ; an acute deficiency alters the colour of the leaves owing to defective chloro­ phyll formation. —Iron metabolism in higher animals appears to be catalysed by traces of copper. Similar effects have been claimed for related metals, including manganese, nickel, and cobalt, but the results of different investigations are at variance.

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