Seed P-enrichment as an effective P supply to wheat
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Most fertilizer phosphorus (P) is sorbed by soil rather than being taken up by crops. We hypothesize enriching wheat seed with P before sowing the crop will reduce requirement of fertilizer P for subsequent wheat production. We produced P-enriched wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) seed by soaking the seed in different concentrations of potassium phosphate solution. We found that ~0.35 M potassium phosphate was the most effective concentration for P-enrichment of the seed. In pot and field experiments we found that the P-enriched seed required ~60% less fertilizer P than seed not soaked with potassium phosphate before sowing. Increases in shoot P content could not be explained only by the increase of seed P-enrichment, suggesting that P acquisition from soil was also enhanced. Under hydroponic conditions we found that root length was greater in seedlings grown from P-enriched seed with higher specific root length than in seedlings grown from non-P-enriched seed. We conclude P-enrichment of wheat seed before sowing reduces fertilizer P requirements of plants.
KeywordsFertilizer application Nutrient uptake Phosphate Phosphorus availability Seed coating Seed priming
The authors are grateful to H. Araki for helpful discussions. This study was financially supported by the Research Fellowships for Young Scientists and a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
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