Plant and Soil

, Volume 361, Issue 1–2, pp 177–187 | Cite as

Contributions of root uptake and remobilization to grain zinc accumulation in wheat depending on post-anthesis zinc availability and nitrogen nutrition

  • Umit Baris Kutman
  • Bahar Yildiz Kutman
  • Yasemin Ceylan
  • Emir Ali Ova
  • Ismail Cakmak
Regular Article


Background and aims

Whether root Zn uptake during grain filling or remobilization from pre-anthesis Zn stores contributes more to grain Zn in wheat is subject to an on-going debate. This study investigated the effects of N nutrition and post-anthesis Zn availability on the relative importance of these sources.


Durum wheat plants were grown in nutrient solution containing adequate Zn (0.5 μM) and three different N levels (0.5; 1.5; 4.5 mM). One third of the plants were harvested when they reached anthesis. One half of the remaining plants were grown to maturity with adequate Zn, whereas the Zn supply to the other half was discontinued at anthesis. Roots, straw and grains were harvested separately and analyzed for Zn and N.


Depending on the N supply, Zn remobilization from pre-anthesis sources provided almost all of grain Zn when the Zn supply was withheld at anthesis; otherwise up to 100 % of grain Zn could be accounted for by Zn taken up post-anthesis. By promoting tillering and grain yield and extending the grain filling, higher N supply favored the contribution of Zn uptake to grain Zn accumulation.


Remobilization is critical for grain Zn accumulation when Zn availability is restricted during grain filling. However, where root uptake can continue, concurrent Zn uptake during grain development, favored by higher N supply, overshadows net remobilization.


Nitrogen Post-anthesis Remobilization Uptake Wheat Zinc 



This study was financially supported by the HarvestPlus Program ( and the sponsors of the HarvestPlus Global Zinc Fertilizer Project ( including Mosaic Company, K + S Kali GmbH, International Zinc Association, Omex Agrifluids, International Fertilizer Industry Association and International Plant Nutrition Institute. We would like to thank Veli Bayir for his invaluable contributions to mineral analyses in the present study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Umit Baris Kutman
    • 1
  • Bahar Yildiz Kutman
    • 1
  • Yasemin Ceylan
    • 1
  • Emir Ali Ova
    • 1
  • Ismail Cakmak
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering and Natural SciencesSabanci UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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