Plant and Soil

, Volume 332, Issue 1, pp 31–40

Impact of sulphur fertilisation on crop response to selenium fertilisation


  • J. L. Stroud
    • Rothamsted Research
  • H. F. Li
    • Rothamsted Research
    • College of Resources and Environmental ScienceChina Agricultural University
  • F. J. Lopez-Bellido
    • Rothamsted Research
  • M. R. Broadley
    • School of BiosciencesUniversity of Nottingham
  • I. Foot
    • Limagrain UK Ltd
  • S. J. Fairweather-Tait
    • School of Medicine, Health Policy and PracticeUniversity of East Anglia
  • D. J. Hart
    • Institute of Food Research
  • R. Hurst
    • School of Medicine, Health Policy and PracticeUniversity of East Anglia
  • P. Knott
    • Marks and Spencer plc, Waterside House
  • H. Mowat
    • Velcourt R&D, The StablesRed House Farm
  • K. Norman
    • Carr’s Fertilisers
  • P. Scott
    • Carr’s Fertilisers
  • M. Tucker
    • Yara (UK) Ltd
  • P. J. White
    • Scottish Crop Research Institute
  • S. P. McGrath
    • Rothamsted Research
    • Rothamsted Research
Regular Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11104-009-0230-8

Cite this article as:
Stroud, J.L., Li, H.F., Lopez-Bellido, F.J. et al. Plant Soil (2010) 332: 31. doi:10.1007/s11104-009-0230-8


UK wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) has a low selenium (Se) concentration and agronomic biofortification with Se is a proposed solution. A possible limitation is that UK wheat is routinely fertilised with sulphur (S), which may affect uptake of Se by the crop. The response of wheat to Se and S fertilisation and residual effects of Se were determined in field trials over 2 consecutive years. Selenium fertilisation at 20 g ha−1 as sodium selenate increased grain Se by four to seven fold, up to 374 µg Se kg−1. Sulphur fertilisation produced contrasting effects in 2 years; in year 1 when the crop was not deficient in S, grain Se concentration was significantly enhanced by S, whereas in year 2 when crop yield responded significantly to S fertilisation, grain Se concentration was decreased significantly in the S-fertilised plots. An incubation experiment showed that addition of sulphate enhanced the recovery of selenate added to soils, probably through a suppression of selenate transformation to other unavailable forms in soils. Our results demonstrate complex interactions between S and Se involving both soil and plant physiological processes; S can enhance Se availability in soil but inhibit selenate uptake by plants. Furthermore, no residual effect of Se fertiliser applied in year 1 was found on the following crop.


SeleniumSelenium biofortificationSelenium speciationSulphateSulphurWheat

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009