Iron and zinc grain density in common wheat grown in Central Asia


Sixty-six spring and winter common wheat genotypes from Central Asian breeding programs were evaluated for grain concentrations of iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn). Iron showed large variation among genotypes, ranging from 25 mg kg−1 to 56 mg kg−1 (mean 38 mg kg−1). Similarly, Zn concentration varied among genotypes, ranging between 20 mg kg−1 and 39 mg kg−1 (mean 28 mg kg−1). Spring wheat cultivars possessed higher Fe-grain concentrations than winter wheats. By contrast, winter wheats showed higher Zn-grain concentrations than spring genotypes. Within spring wheat, a strongly significant positive correlation was found between Fe and Zn. Grain protein content was also significantly (P < 0.001) correlated with grain Zn and Fe content. There were strong significantly negative correlations between Fe and plant height, and Fe and glutenin content. Similar correlation coefficients were found for Zn. In winter wheat, significant positive correlations were found between Fe and Zn, and between Zn and sulfur (S). Manganese (Mn) and phosphorus (P) were negatively correlated with both Fe and Zn. The additive main effects and multiplicative interactions (AMMI) analysis of genotype  × environment interactions for grain Fe and Zn concentrations showed that genotype effects largely controlled Fe concentration, whereas Zn concentration was almost totally dependent on location effects. Spring wheat genotypes Lutescens 574, and Eritrospermum 78; and winter wheat genotypes Navruz, NA160/HEINEVII/BUC/3/F59.71//GHK, Tacika, DUCULA//VEE/MYNA, and JUP/4/CLLF/3/II14.53/ODIN//CI13431/WA00477, are promising materials for increasing Fe and Zn concentrations in the grain, as well as enhancing the concentration of promoters of Zn bioavailability, such as S-containing amino acids.

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The financial support from Harvest Plus to conduct the micronutrient analyses at Adelaide and Sabanci universities as well as the overall encouragement to pursue this research are greatly appreciated. We thank Dr. Thomas S. Payne (Genetic Resources Program, CIMMYT-Mexico) for revision of the English version and helpful comments in the preparation of this paper. The valuable suggestions made by the anonymous reviewers that ended in a better presentation of our ideas are acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Hugo Ferney Gómez-Becerra.

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Morgounov, A., Gómez-Becerra, H.F., Abugalieva, A. et al. Iron and zinc grain density in common wheat grown in Central Asia. Euphytica 155, 193–203 (2007).

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  • Breeding
  • Central Asia
  • G × E
  • Iron
  • Wheat
  • Zinc