Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 239–247 | Cite as

The effect of preceding crop on wheat grain zinc concentration and its relationship to total amino acids and dissolved organic carbon in rhizosphere soil solution

  • Shabnam Soltani
  • Amir H. KhoshgoftarmaneshEmail author
  • Majid Afyuni
  • Mehran Shrivani
  • Rainer Schulin
Original Paper


The role of cropping systems practices in agronomic biofortification programs with the aim of increasing micronutrient density in food plants has to be clarified. In these field experiments, the effect of four preceding crops, i.e., sunflower (Heliantus annus L. cv. Allstar), Sudan grass (Sorghum bicolor L. cv. Speed Feed), clover (Trifolium pratense L.), and safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L. cv. Koseh-e-Isfahan), on the total amino acids (AA) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration in rhizosphere soil solution and grain Zn content of successive wheat (Triticum aestivum cvs. Back Cross and Kavir) was investigated during 2009–2010 and 2010–2011 growing seasons. A fallow treatment was also considered as the control. In both growing seasons, preceding crops increased the concentrations of AA and DOC in the soil solution in comparison with the fallow control treatment; although the magnitude of this increase varied upon the preceding crop type and wheat cultivar. In general, clover and sunflower had greater effect on increasing soil solution DOC probably due to higher decomposability of their litter residues in soil. Preceding crops increased the total AA concentration, on average, by 45.9 % for the first year and 10.8 % for the second year. The preceding sorghum and clover had the highest and lowest influence on the concentration of AA in wheat rhizosphere soil solution, respectively. The preceding crops increased grain wheat Zn concentration and content over the fallow control treatment, although this effect was dependent on the crop type. For “Back Cross”, a positive and significant correlation was found between grain Zn concentration and soil solution DOC concentration (r = 0.60, P < 0.05) and particularly AA (r = 0.76, P < 0.001), while no such correlation was found for “Kavir”. At the second growing season, the concentration of AA in the rhizosphere of Back Cross was greater than that of Kavir, probably due to higher release of these compounds from the roots. According to the results, the preceding crop significantly affect grain Zn density of the successive wheat, that is, at least in part, by releasing soluble organic ligands into soil solution.


Sunflower Sudan grass Clover Safflower Triticum aestivum Biofortification 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shabnam Soltani
    • 1
  • Amir H. Khoshgoftarmanesh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Majid Afyuni
    • 1
  • Mehran Shrivani
    • 1
  • Rainer Schulin
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Soil Science, College of AgricultureIsfahan University of TechnologyIsfahanIran
  2. 2.Institute of Terrestrial EcosystemsETH ZürichZürichSwitzerland

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