The addition of molybdenum to solutions containing an excess of either manganese, zinc, copper, nickel or cobalt respectively, resulted in decreases in the severity of iron deficiency symptoms which normally occurred when flax was grown in solutions containing the same concentrations of any of these elements, but without molybdenum. The efficacy of molybdenum in this regard increased with increasing concentration up to 25 parts per million. However, concentrations of 0.5 to 2 parts per million of molybdenum had little effect on the severity of iron deficiency symptoms at the concentrations of heavy metals used. Molybdenum 5, 10 or 25 parts per million also retarded the date of appearance and reduced the severity of lower leaf necrosis which is another characteristic symptom of the presence of excess manganese (25 to 100 parts per million) in the nutrient solution. It is concluded that an essential function of molybdenum is intimately associated with the regulation of the deleterious effect of manganese, zinc, copper, nickel or cobalt on the physiological availability of iron to the plant. 46 references, 3 figures.