Plant and Soil

, Volume 332, Issue 1–2, pp 19–30 | Cite as

Soil factors affecting selenium concentration in wheat grain and the fate and speciation of Se fertilisers applied to soil

  • J. L. Stroud
  • M. R. Broadley
  • I. Foot
  • S. J. Fairweather-Tait
  • D. J. Hart
  • R. Hurst
  • P. Knott
  • H. Mowat
  • K. Norman
  • P. Scott
  • M. Tucker
  • P. J. White
  • S. P. McGrath
  • F. J. Zhao
Regular Article

Abstract

UK crops have a low selenium (Se) status, therefore Se fertilisation of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) at 10 field sites was investigated and the effect on the content and speciation of Se in soils determined. Soil characterisation was carried out at each field site to determine the soil factors that may influence wheat grain Se concentrations in unfertilised plots. Soil samples were taken after harvest from each treatment to determine the fate and speciation of selenate fertiliser applied to soil. Wheat grain Se concentrations could be predicted from soil Se concentration and soil extractable sulphur (S) using the following regression model: Grain Se = a + b(total soil Se) + c(extractable soil Se) - d(extractable soil S), with 86 % of the variance being accounted for, suggesting that these properties control Se concentrations in grain from unfertilised plots. Extractable soil Se concentrations were low (2.4 – 12.4 µg kg−1) and predominantly consisted of selenite (up to 70 % of extractable Se) and soluble organic forms, whereas selenate was below the detection limit. Little of the added Se, in either liquid or granular form was left in the soil after crop harvest. Se fertilisation up to 20 g ha−1 did not lead to a significant Se accumulation in the soil, suggesting losses of Se unutilised by the crop.

Keywords

Soil Selenium Selenium speciation Residual effect Biofortification Wheat 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Rothamsted Research is an institute of the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. This project was sponsored by Defra through the Sustainable Arable LINK Programme (LK0974 grant). We thank Colin Gray and Sarah Dunham for their assistance collecting and analysing samples.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. Stroud
    • 1
  • M. R. Broadley
    • 2
  • I. Foot
    • 3
  • S. J. Fairweather-Tait
    • 4
  • D. J. Hart
    • 5
  • R. Hurst
    • 4
  • P. Knott
    • 6
  • H. Mowat
    • 6
  • K. Norman
    • 7
  • P. Scott
    • 8
  • M. Tucker
    • 9
  • P. J. White
    • 10
  • S. P. McGrath
    • 1
  • F. J. Zhao
    • 1
  1. 1.Soil Science DepartmentRothamsted ResearchHertfordshireUK
  2. 2.School of BiosciencesUniversity of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington CampusLeicestershireUK
  3. 3.Limagrain UK LtdSuffolkUK
  4. 4.School of Medicine, Health Policy and PracticeUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK
  5. 5.Institute of Food ResearchNorwichUK
  6. 6.Marks and Spencer plc Waterside HouseLondonUK
  7. 7.Velcourt R&D, The StablesRed House FarmCambridgeshireUK
  8. 8.Carr’s FertilisersCarlisleUK
  9. 9.Yara (UK) LtdNE LincolnshireUK
  10. 10.Scottish Crop Research InstituteDundeeUK

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