, Volume 91, Issue 2, pp 221-229

Phosphorus requirements of the wheat plant in various stages of its life cycle

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In pot experiments root growth and P uptake were found to precede shoot growth. The high rate of P uptake in the early stages of the life cycle is not an expression of luxury consumption but reflects a high P requirement in plants. Plants cultivated in nutrient solutions with different P concentrations during various stages of development showed that a high P supply (1 ppm) between Feekes stages 6 and 9 (30 days) caused a higher grain yield than the same P concentration between Feekes stages 11 and 17 (30 days). The early applied P caused a high number of fertile ears per area, a high number of grains per ear, and a high P pool in vegetative parts. The latter could be mobilized during the grain-filling period. Therefore, for high grain yields soil and fertilizers have to meet the high P requirement (about 20 μg P/m root · day) in an early stage of plant growth. During the grain filling period the P supply can be much lower.