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Ram H.,Punjab Agricultural University | Rashid A.,Pakistan Academy of science | Zhang W.,China Agricultural University | Duarte A.P.,Agronomic Institute IAC | And 17 more authors.
Plant and Soil | Year: 2016

Aims: Rice (Oryza sativa L.), wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) are major staple food crops consumed worldwide. Zinc (Zn) deficiency represents a common micronutrient deficiency in human populations, especially in regions of the world where staple food crops are the main source of daily calorie intake. Foliar application of Zn fertilizer has been shown to be effective for enriching food crop grains with Zn to desirable amounts for human nutrition. For promoting adoption of this practice by growers, it is important to know whether foliar Zn fertilizers can be applied along with pesticides to wheat, rice and also common bean grown across different soil and environmental conditions. Methods: The feasibility of foliar application of zinc sulphate (ZnSO4.7H2O) to wheat, rice and common bean in combination with commonly used five fungicides and nine insecticides was investigated under field conditions at the 31 sites-years of seven countries, i.e., China, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey, Brazil and Zambia. Results: Significant increases in grain yields were observed with foliar Zn/foliar Zn + pesticide (5.2–7.7 % of wheat and 1.6–4.2 % of rice) over yields with no Zn treatment. In wheat, as average of all experiments, higher grain Zn concentrations were recorded with foliar Zn alone (41.2 mg kg−1) and foliar Zn + pesticide (38.4 mg kg−1) as compared to no Zn treatment (28.0 mg kg−1). Though the magnitude of grain Zn enrichment was lesser in rice than wheat, grain Zn concentrations in brown rice were significantly higher with foliar Zn (24.1 mg kg−1) and foliar Zn + pesticide (23.6 mg kg−1) than with no Zn (19.1 mg kg−1). In case of common bean, grain Zn concentration increased from 68 to 78 mg kg−1 with foliar Zn alone and to 77 mg kg−1 with foliar Zn applied in combination with pesticides. Thus, grain Zn enrichment with foliar Zn, without or with pesticides, was almost similar in all the tested crops. Conclusions: The results obtained at the 31 experimental site-years of seven countries revealed that foliar Zn fertilization can be realized in combination with commonly-applied pesticides to contribute Zn biofortification of grains in wheat, rice and common bean. This agronomic approach represents a useful practice for the farmers to alleviate Zn deficiency problem in human populations. © 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

Zou C.Q.,Key Laboratory of Plant Soil Interaction | Zhang Y.Q.,Key Laboratory of Plant Soil Interaction | Rashid A.,Pakistan Academy of science | Ram H.,Punjab Agricultural University | And 16 more authors.
Plant and Soil | Year: 2012

Aim: Zinc (Zn) fertilization is an effective agronomic tool for Zn biofortification of wheat for overcoming human Zn deficiency. But it still needs to be evaluated across locations with different management practices and wheat cultivars, since grain Zn concentrations may be significantly affected by locations, cultivars and management. Materials: Field experiments were conducted over 3 years with the following four Zn treatments: nil Zn, soil Zn application, foliar Zn application and soil + foliar Zn application to explore the impact of Zn fertilization in Zn biofortification of wheat. The experiments were conducted at a total of 23 experimental site-years in China, India, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Pakistan, Turkey and Zambia. Results: The results showed that foliar Zn application alone or in combination with soil application, significantly increased grain Zn concentrations from 27 mg kg-1 at nil Zn to 48 and 49 mg kg-1 across all of 23 site-years, resulting in increases in grain Zn by 84 % and 90 %, respectively. Overall, soil Zn deficiency was not a growth limiting factor on the experimental sites. A significant grain yield increase in response to soil Zn fertilization was found only in Pakistan. When all locations and cropping years are combined, soil Zn fertilization resulted in about 5 % increase in grain yield. Foliar Zn application did not cause any adverse effect on grain yield, even slightly improved the yield. Across the 23 site-years, soil Zn application had a small effect on Zn concentration of leaves collected before foliar Zn application, and increased grain Zn concentration only by 12 %. The correlation between grain yield and the effectiveness of foliar Zn application on grain Zn was condition dependent, and was positive and significant at certain conditions. Conclusion: Foliar Zn application resulted in successful biofortification of wheat grain with Zn without causing yield loss. This effect of Zn fertilization occurred irrespective of the soil and environmental conditions, management practices applied and cultivars used in 23 site-years. Foliar Zn fertilizer approach can be locally adopted for increasing dietary Zn intake and fighting human Zn deficiency in rural areas. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Cakmak I.,Sabanci University | Kalayci M.,Anatolian Agricultural Research Institute | Kaya Y.,BD International Agricultural Research Institute | Torun A.A.,Cukurova University | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry | Year: 2010

Zinc (Zn) deficiency associated with low dietary intake is a well-documented public health problem, resulting in serious health and socioeconomic problems. Field experiments were conducted with wheat to test the role of both soil and foliar application of ZnSO4 in Zn concentration of whole grain and grain fractions (e.g., bran, embryo and endosperm) in 3 locations. Foliar application of ZnSO4 was realized at different growth stages (e.g., stem elongation, boot, milk, dough stages) to study the effect of timing of foliar Zn application on grain Zn concentration. The rate of foliar Zn application at each growth stage was 4 kg of ZnSO4 3 7H2O ha-1. Laser ablation (LA)-ICP-MS was used to follow the localization of Zn within grain. Soil Zn application at a rate of 50 kg of ZnSO4 3 7H2O ha-1 was effective in increasing grain Zn concentration in the Zn-deficient location, but not in the locations without soil Zn deficiency. In all locations, foliar application of Zn significantly increased Zn concentration in whole grain and in each grain fraction, particularly in the case of high soil N fertilization. In Zn-deficient location, grain Zn concentration increased from 11 mg kg-1 to 22 mg kg-1 with foliar Zn application and to 27 mg kg-1 with a combined application of ZnSO4 to soil and foliar. In locations without soil Zn deficiency, combination of high N application with two times foliar Zn application (e.g., at the booting and milk stages) increased grain Zn concentration, on average, from 28 mg kg-1 to 58 mg kg-1. Both ICP-OES and LA-ICP-MS data showed that the increase in Zn concentration of whole grain and grain fractions was pronounced when Zn was sprayed at the late growth stage (e.g., milk and dough). LA-ICP-MS data also indicated that Zn was transported into endosperm through the crease phloem. To our knowledge, this is the first study to show that the timing of foliar Zn application is of great importance in increasing grain Zn in wheat, especially in the endosperm part that is the predominant grain fraction consumed in many countries. Providing a large pool of Zn in vegetative tissues during the grain filling (e.g., via foliar Zn spray) is an important practice to increase grain Zn and contribute to human nutrition. © 2010 American Chemical Society.

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