Skip to main content

Biofortification with Zinc and Iron Improves the Grain Quality and Yield of Wheat Crop

Abstract

Hidden hunger is emerging as a major challenge for agricultural scientists because world population is increasing and food production is augmenting. Metals deficiencies (micronutrient malnutrition), especially Zn and Fe, are affecting over half of global population because they are depending cereal crops mainly wheat rice and maize for their daily diet. There are various possible techniques to overcome the hidden hunger but agronomic biofortification is one of the major agricultural strategies to enhance the grain concentration of micronutrients. Application of iron sulphate (FeSO4) zinc sulphate (ZnSO4) and as alone or in combination either soil and foliar application increased the height of plants, number of tillers, spike length, number of spikelets per spike, number of grains per spike, thousand grain weight, economical yield, biological yield and harvesting index, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and protein contents. Among different Zn and Fe concentrations applied either soil supplement or foliar spray, combine foliar spray of 0.5% ZnSO4 and 1% FeSO4 significantly improved the maximum growth or quality attributes of wheat. Biofortification is one of the major agricultural strategies to enhance the concentration of micronutrients in grains to minimize the malnutrition. Combination of Zn and Fe as foliar spray (0.5% ZnSO4 and 1% FeSO4) increased the yield traits of wheat crop as well as quality parameters of grains. Foliar application method is more appropriate for availability of nutrients to plants for optimum growth as compared to soil application method. Combined application of Zn and Fe (0.5% ZnSO4 and 1% FeSO4) through foliar spray is recommended to enhance the productivity of wheat crop with good quality of grains.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  • Agrawal, S. C., Jolly, M. S., & Sinha, A. M. (1980). Foliar constituents of secondary food plants of tasar silk Antheraea mylitta. The Indian Forester,106, 847–851.

    Google Scholar 

  • Alam, S., Kamei, S., & Kawai, S. (2001). Effect of iron deficiency on the chemical composition of the xylem sap of barley. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition,47, 643–649.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Anonymous. (2007). Global childhood malnutrition. Lancet,367, 1459.

    Google Scholar 

  • Borrill, P., Connorton, J., Balk, J., Miller, A. J., Sanders, D., & Uauy, C. (2014). Biofortification of wheat grain with iron and zinc: Integrating novel genomic resources and knowledge from model crops. Frontiers in Plant Science,5, 53.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Cakmak, I. (2000). Possible roles of zinc in protecting plant cells from damage by reactive oxygen species. New Phytologist,146(2), 185–205.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Cakmak, I. (2002). Plant nutrition research: Priorities to meet human needs for food in sustainable ways. Plant and Soil,247(1), 3–24.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Cakmak, I. (2008). Enrichment of cereal grains with zinc: Agronomic or genetic biofortification? Plant and Soil,302, 1–17.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Cakmak, I., Pfeiffer, W. H., & McClafferty, B. (2010). Biofortification of durum wheat with zinc and iron. Cereal Chemistry,87(1), 10–20.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • De-Valença, A. W., Bake, A., Brouwer, I. D., & Giller, K. E. (2017). Agronomic biofortification of crops to fight hidden hunger in sub-Saharan Africa. Global Food Security,12, 8–14.

    Google Scholar 

  • Government of Pakistan (GOP). (2017). Agriculture sector. Pakistan Economic Survey 2015–2016 (pp. 21–23). Government of Pakistan, Islamabad: Ministry of Finance.

    Google Scholar 

  • Government of Pakistan (GOP). (2018). Agriculture sector. Pakistan Economic Survey 2016–2017 (pp. 13–14). Islamabad: Ministry of Finance Government of Pakistan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Graham, R. D., & Welch, R. M. (1996). Breeding for staple food crops with high micronutrient density (Vol. 3). Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  • Habib, M. (2009). Effect of foliar application of Zn and Fe on wheat yield and quality. African Journal of Biotechnology,8(24), 6795–6798.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hasina, G., Said, A., Saeed, B., Mohammad, F., & Ahmad, I. (2011). Effect of foliar application of nitrogen, potassium and zinc on wheat growth. Journal of Agricultural Science,6, 56–58.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hassan, N., Irshad, S., Saddiq, M. S., Bashir, S., Khan, S., Wahid, M. A., et al. (2019). Potential of zinc seed treatment in improving stand establishment, phenology, yield and biofortification of wheat. Journal of Plant Nutrition,42(14), 1676–1692.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Imtiaz, M., Alloway, B. J., Shah, K. H., Siddiqui, S. H., Memon, M. Y., Aslam, M., et al. (2003). Zinc nutrition of wheat: II: Interaction of zinc with other trace elements. Asian Journal of Plant Science,2, 156–160.

    Google Scholar 

  • Imtiaz, M., Rashid, A., Khan, P., Memon, M. Y., & Aslam, M. (2010). The role of micronutrients in crop production and human health. Pakistan Journal of Botany,42(4), 2565–2578.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Jackson, M. T. (2009) Revitalizing the rice wheat cropping systems of the Indo-Gangetic Plains: Adaptation and adoption of resource conserving technologies in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Final Report No. DPPC2007–100. International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, Philippines.

  • Jawaldeh, A. A., Pena-Rosas, J. P., McColl, K., Johnson, Q., Elmadfa, I., & Nasreddine, L. (2019). Wheat flour fortification in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Cairo: WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.

  • Johnson, S. E., Lauren, J. G., Welch, R. M., & Duxbury, J. M. (2005). A comparison of the effects of micronutrient seed priming and soil fertilization on the mineral nutrition of chickpea (Cicer arietinum), lentil (Lens culinaris), rice (Oryza sativa) and wheat (Triticum aestivum) in Nepal. Experimental Agriculture,41, 427–448.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kenzhebayeva, S., Abekova, A., Atabayeva, S., Yernazarova, G., Omirbekova, N., Zhang, G., et al. (2019). Mutant lines of spring wheat with increased iron, zinc, and micronutrients in grains and enhanced bioavailability for human health. Biomedical Research and Science,2019, 1–10.

    Google Scholar 

  • Khan, S., Mirza, K. J., Anwar, F., & Abdin, M. Z. (2010). Development of RAPD markers for authentication of Piper nigrum L. Environment & We An International Journal of Science & Technology,5, 53–62.

    Google Scholar 

  • Li, M., Wang, S., Tian, X., Li, S., Chen, Y., Jia, Z., et al. (2016). Zinc and iron concentrations in grain milling fractions through combined foliar applications of Zn and macronutrients. Field Crops Research,187, 135–141.

    Google Scholar 

  • Marschener, H. (1995). Boron. In H. Marschner (Ed.), Mineral nutrition of higher plants (2nd ed., pp. 379–396). San Diego: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Memon, M. N., Jamro, G. M., Memon, N. N., Memon, K. S., & Akhtar, M. S. (2012). Micronutrient availability assessment of tomato grown in Taluk Badin, Sindh. Pakistan Journal of Botany,44, 649–654.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Narimani, H., Rahimi, M. M., Ahmadikhah, A., & Vaezi, B. (2010). Study on the effects of foliar spray of micronutrient on yield and yield components of durum wheat. Archives of Applied Science Research,2(6), 168–176.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ngozi, U. F. (2013). The role of biofortification in the reduction of micronutrient food insecurity in developing countries. African Journal of Biotechnology,12(37), 5559–5566.

    Google Scholar 

  • Niyigaba, E., Twizerimana, A., Mugenzi, I., Ngnadong, W. A., Ye, Y. P., Wu, B. M., et al. (2019). Winter wheat grain quality, zinc and iron concentration affected by a combined foliar spray of zinc and iron fertilizers. Agronomy,9(5), 250.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ozturk, L., Yazici, M. A., Yucel, C., Torun, A., Cekic, C., Bagci, A., et al. (2006). Concentration and localization of zinc during seed development and germination in wheat. Physiologia Plantarum,128, 144–152.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Pahlavan-Rad, M. R., & Pessarakli, M. (2009). Response of wheat plants to zinc, iron, and manganese applications and uptake and concentration of zinc, iron, and manganese in wheat grains. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis,40(7–8), 1322–1332.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Pandey, N., Pathak, G. C., & Sharma, C. P. (2006). Zinc is critically required for pollen function and fertilisation in lentil. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology,20(2), 89–96.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Rashid, A. (1986). Mapping zinc fertility of soils using indicator plants and soils analysis. PhD Dissertation, University of Hawaii, HI, USA.

  • Rehman, A., Farooq, M., Ozturk, L., Asif, M., & Siddique, K. H. M. (2018). Zinc nutrition in wheat-based cropping systems. Plant and Soil,422, 283–315.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Rietra, R. P., Heinen, M., Dimkpa, C. O., & Bindraban, P. S. (2017). Effects of nutrient antagonism and synergism on yield and fertilizer use efficiency. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis,48, 1895–1920.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Sharma, R., Agarwal, A., & Kumar, S. (2008). Effect of micronutrients on protein content and productivity of wheat (Triticum aestivum L***). VEGETOS: An International Journal of Plant Research,21(1), 51–53.

    Google Scholar 

  • Soetan, K. O., Olaiya, C. O., & Oyewole, O. E. (2010). The importance of mineral elements for humans, domestic animals and plants-A review. African Journal of Food Science,4(5), 200–222.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Soleimani, R. (2006). The effects of integrated application of micronutrient on wheat in low organic carbon conditions of alkaline soils of western Iran. 18th World Congress of Soil Science, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

  • Steel, R. G. D., Torrie, J. H., & Dicky, D. A. (1997). Principles and procedures of statistics: A biological approach (3rd ed., pp. 352–358). New York: Mcgraw Hill Inc. Book Co.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stein, A. J. (2010). Global impacts of human mineral malnutrition. Plant and Soil,335, 133–154.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Sultana, S., Naser, H. M., Shil, N. C., Akhter, S., & Begum, R. A. (2016). Effect of foliar application of zinc on yield of wheat grown by avoiding irrigation at different growth stages. Bangladesh Journal of Agricultural Research,41(2), 323–334.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wang, S., Li, M., Tian, X., Li, J., Li, H., Ni, Y., et al. (2015). Foliar zinc, nitrogen, and phosphorus application effects on micronutrient concentrations in winter wheat. Agronomy Journal,107, 61–70.

    Google Scholar 

  • Xu, Y., An, D., Liu, D., Zhang, A., Xu, H., & Li, B. (2012). Molecular mapping of QTLs for grain zinc, iron and protein concentration of wheat across two environments. Field Crops Research,138, 57–62.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zeidan, M. S., Manal, F., & Hamouda, H. A. (2010). Effect of foliar fertilization of Fe, Mn and Zn on wheat yield and quality in low sandy soils fertility. World Journal of Agricultural Research,6, 696–699.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Zhao, A., Tian, X., Cao, Y., Lu, X., & Liu, T. (2014). Comparison of soil and foliar zinc application for enhancing grain zinc content of wheat when grown on potentially zinc-deficient calcareous soils. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture,94, 2016–2022.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Zuchi, S., Cesco, S., & Astolfi, S. (2012). High supply improves Fe accumulation in durum wheat plants grown under Fe limitation. Environmental and Experimental Botany,77, 25–32.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Zuchi, S., Watanabe, M., Hubberten, H. M., Bromke, M., Osorio, S., Fernie, A. R., et al. (2015). The interplay between sulfur and iron nutrition in tomato. Plant Physiology,169, 2624–2639.

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Shahbaz Khan.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

All Authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ramzan, Y., Hafeez, M.B., Khan, S. et al. Biofortification with Zinc and Iron Improves the Grain Quality and Yield of Wheat Crop. Int. J. Plant Prod. 14, 501–510 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42106-020-00100-w

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42106-020-00100-w

Keywords

  • Foliar spray
  • Growth
  • Mineral
  • Productivity
  • Protein