A list of essential macronutrients, their symbols, and basic functions.
Macronutrients Element Symbol Plant Form Functions in Plants
Nitrogen N NO3-, NH4+ Component of amino acids, proteins, nucleotides, nucleic acids, chlorophyll, and coenzymes
Phosphorus P H2PO4-, HPO4 2- Component of energy-carrying phosphate compounds (ATP and DTP), nucleic acids, several coenzymes, phospholipids
Potassium K K+ Involved in osmosis and ionic and in opening and closing of stomata, activator of many enzymes
Calcium Ca Ca2+ Component of cell walls, enzyme cofactor, involved in cellular membrane permability, component of calmodulin, a regulator of membrane and enzyme activities
Magnesium Mg Mg2+ Component of the chlorophyll molecule, activator of many enzymes
Sulfur S SO42- Component of some amino acids and proteins and coenzyme A


A list of essential micronutrients, their symbols, and basic functions.
Micronutrients Element Symbol Plant Form Functions in Plants
Iron Fe Fe3+, Fe2+ Required for chlorophyll synthesis, component of cytochromes and nitrogenase
Boron B H3BO3 Influences calcium utilization, nucleic acid synthesis, and membrane integrity
Copper Cu Cu+, Cu2+ Activator or component of some enzymes involved in oxidation and reduction
Molybdenum Mo MoO42+ Required for nitrogen fixation and nitrate reduction
Manganese Mn Mn2+ Activator of some enzymes, required for integrity of chloroplast membrane and for oxygen release in photosynthesis
Chlorine Cl Cl- Involved in osmosis and ionic balance, probably essential in photosynthetic reactions that produce oxygen
Zinc Zn Zn2+ Activator or component of many enzymes
Nickel Ni Ni2+ Essential part of enzyme functioning in nitrogen metabolism
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