Plant and Soil

, Volume 225, Issue 1–2, pp 95–107

Diagnosing sulfur deficiency in field-grown oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) and wheat ( Triticum aestivum L.)

  • M.M.A. Blake-Kalff
  • M.J. Hawkesford
  • F.J. Zhao
  • S.P. McGrath
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1026503812267

Cite this article as:
Blake-Kalff, M., Hawkesford, M., Zhao, F. et al. Plant and Soil (2000) 225: 95. doi:10.1023/A:1026503812267

Abstract

The effects of increasing sulfur applications on field-grown oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) were investigated in 1998 and 1999, and the critical values and efficiency of several diagnostic indicators for S deficiency were determined. Critical values for leaf concentrations of total S, sulfate and glutathione changed over time and were not suitable for diagnosing S deficiency early in the growth season. The N:S ratio was more reliable but involved two analytical measurements. A practical and reliable indicator for S deficiency was the malate:sulfate peak area ratio as measured by ion chromatography, which required only a single analysis and was independent of the time of sampling or calibration of the samples. A malate:sulfate ratio ≤ 1 indicated S sufficiency at the time of sampling, whereas a ratio > 1 suggested S deficiency at the time of sampling. The malate:sulfate ratio was reliable at growth stage 3.6–3.7 (flower stalks extending to first flowers yellow) for oilseed rape and at growth stage 22–25 (main stem and 2–5 tillers) for wheat, which was sufficiently early in the growth season to apply remedial sulfur fertilizer, if necessary.

critical values growth stage malate nutrient distribution sulfate 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • M.M.A. Blake-Kalff
    • 1
  • M.J. Hawkesford
    • 2
  • F.J. Zhao
    • 2
  • S.P. McGrath
    • 2
  1. 1.IACR-Rothamsted, HarpendenHertsUK
  2. 2.IACR-Rothamsted, HarpendenHertsUK

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