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Plant and Soil

, Volume 349, Issue 1–2, pp 215–225 | Cite as

Biofortification of wheat with iron through soil and foliar application of nitrogen and iron fertilizers

  • Seher Bahar Aciksoz
  • Atilla Yazici
  • Levent Ozturk
  • Ismail Cakmak
Regular Article

Abstract

Increasing iron (Fe) concentration in food crops is an important global challenge due to high incidence of Fe deficiency in human populations. Evidence is available showing that nitrogen (N) fertilization increases Fe concentration in wheat grain. This positive impact of N on grain Fe was, however, not studied under varied soil and foliar applications of Fe. Greenhouse experiments were conducted to investigate a role of soil- and foliar-applied Fe fertilizers in improving shoot and grain Fe concentration in durum wheat (Triticum durum) grown under increasing N supply as Ca-nitrate. Additionally, an effect of foliar Fe fertilizers on grain Fe was tested with and without urea in the spray solution. Application of various soil or foliar Fe fertilizers had either a little positive effect or remained ineffective on shoot or grain Fe. By contrast, at a given Fe treatment, raising N supply substantially enhanced shoot and grain concentrations of Fe and Zn. Improving N status of plants from low to sufficient resulted in a 3-fold increase in shoot Fe content (e.g., total Fe accumulated), whereas this increase was only 42% for total shoot dry weight. Inclusion of urea in foliar Fe fertilizers had a positive impact on grain Fe concentration. Nitrogen fertilization represents an important agronomic practice in increasing grain Fe. Therefore, the plant N status deserves special attention in biofortification of food crops with Fe.

Keywords

Biofortification Iron Nitrogen Wheat Zinc 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Professor Zed Rengel for constructive comments on the manuscript and correction of the English text. This study was financially supported by the HarvestPlus Program (www.harvestplus.org) and the sponsors of the HarvestPlus Global Zinc Fertilizer Project (e.g., Mosaic Company, K+S Kali, International Zinc Association, Omex Agrifluids, International Fertilizer Industry Association and International Plant Nutrition Institute).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seher Bahar Aciksoz
    • 1
  • Atilla Yazici
    • 1
  • Levent Ozturk
    • 1
  • Ismail Cakmak
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering and Natural SciencesSabanci UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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