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Plant and Soil

, Volume 336, Issue 1–2, pp 15–24 | Cite as

The use of a zinc-efficient wheat cultivar as an adaptation to calcareous subsoil: a glasshouse study

  • Robert E. Holloway
  • Robin D. Graham
  • Therese M. McBeathEmail author
  • Dot M. Brace
Regular Article

Abstract

Zinc (Zn) is an essential nutrient for plants with a major role in healthy root growth. Zinc is essential for maintaining root membrane integrity, but the effective Zn concentration required may depend on the crop genotype. Zinc-efficient and inefficient wheat cultivars (Triticuum aestivum cv. Excalibur and Gatcher, respectively) were grown in deep soil cores in calcareous subsoil with low micronutrient levels, and high pH and boron. Plants were grown in soil with or without basal nutrients (excluding Zn) and with or without addition of Zn. Components of yield and nutrient use efficiency were measured. Although Gatcher produced 47% more dry weight of tops and double the root length density of Excalibur at maturity, Excalibur was much more efficient in terms of Zn uptake by roots and seven-fold more efficient than Gatcher in partitioning Zn to grain production.

Keywords

Root length Infertile Soil Zinc uptake Zinc partitioning 

Abbreviations

Zn+

added Zn

Zn−

no added Zn

nu+

added basal nutrients (no Zn)

nu−

no added basal nutrients

cv

cultivar

DTPA

diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid

EC

electrical conductivity

ICP-OES

inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy

RSA

total root surface area

LSD

least significant difference

TD

triple deionized

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. Holloway
    • 1
    • 3
  • Robin D. Graham
    • 2
  • Therese M. McBeath
    • 2
    Email author
  • Dot M. Brace
    • 1
  1. 1.South Australian Research and Development InstituteMinnipa Agricultural CentreMinnipaAustralia
  2. 2.School of Agriculture, Food and WineUniversity of AdelaideGlen OsmondAustralia
  3. 3.Mintaro SouthAustralia

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