Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-2xdlg Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-24T06:53:52.424Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Effects of soil zinc availability, nitrogen fertilizer rate and zinc fertilizer application method on zinc biofortification of rice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 May 2015

College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
X. Y. HU
College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
College of Resources and Environment, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun 130118, China
College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
S. W. GUO*
College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
*To whom all correspondence should be addressed. Email:


Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is one of the most important cereal crops in the world and a potentially important source of zinc (Zn) in the diet. The improvement of Zn content of rice is a global challenge with implications for both rice production and human health. The objective of the present study was to identify the effects of nitrogen (N) fertilizer rates and Zn application methods on Zn content of rice by evaluating rice production on native soils with different Zn availabilities in 2010/11. The results indicated that Zn application increased rice grain yield and Zn content in grains compared with the control; however, this effect was also affected by the native soil Zn availability, N fertilizer rate and Zn fertilizer application method. The native soil Zn status was the dominant factor influencing grain yield and grain Zn content in response to Zn fertilizer application. Grain Zn content ranged from 19·74 to 26·93 mg/kg under the different Zn statuses. The results also indicated that Zn application method has a significant influence on grain yield. Application of Zn fertilizer to the soil was more effective than the foliar spray on rice grain yield; however, the foliar spray resulted in a greater increase in grain Zn content when compared with soil application. Grain Zn content was affected by application method and displayed the following general trend: soil application + foliar spray > foliar spray > soil application. The experiments investigating the effect of N fertilizer rate combined with Zn application method showed a clear increase in both grain yield and Zn content as the N fertilizer level increased from 200 to 300 kg/ha. In addition, the results also indicated that N content and accumulation increased in all plant tissues, which suggests that Zn application might influence the uptake and translocation of N in rice plants. These results suggest that soil application in addition to a foliar spray of Zn should be considered as an important strategy to increase grain yield and grain Zn content of rice grown in soils with low background levels of Zn-associated diethylene triamine pentaacetate acid. Moreover, this process could be further strengthened by a high N application rate. In conclusion, these results demonstrate the potential of optimizing nutrient management using Zn fertilizer to obtain higher grain yields and higher grain Zn content in fields with low native Zn status.

Crops and Soils Research Papers
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



Andreini, C., Banci, L., Bertini, I. & Rosato, A. (2006). Zinc through the three domains of life. Journal of Proteome Research 5, 31733178.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Borg, S., Brinch-Pedersen, H., Tauris, B. & Holm, P. B. (2009). Iron transport, deposition and bioavailability in the wheat and barley grain. Plant and Soil 325, 1524.Google Scholar
Brar, M. S. & Sekhon, G. S. (1976). Effect of Fe and Zn on the availability of micronutrients under flooded and unflooded condition. Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science 24, 446451.Google Scholar
Broadley, M. R., White, P. J., Hammond, J. P., Zelko, I. & Lux, A. (2007). Zinc in plants. New Phytologist 173, 677702.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cakmak, I. (2000). Role of zinc in protecting plant cells from reactive oxygen species. New Phytologist 146, 185205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cakmak, I. (2008). Enrichment of cereal grains with zinc: agronomic or genetic biofortification? Plant and Soil 302, 117.Google Scholar
Cakmak, I. & Hoffland, E. (2012). Zinc for the improvement of crop production and human health. Plant and Soil 361, 12.Google Scholar
Cakmak, I., Pfeiffer, W. H. & McClafferty, B. (2010). Biofortification of durum wheat with zinc and iron. Cereal Chemistry 87, 1020.Google Scholar
Curie, C., Cassin, G., Couch, D., Divol, F., Higuchi, K., le Jean, M., Misson, J., Schikora, A., Czernic, P. & Mari, S. (2009). Metal movement within the plant: contribution of nicotianamine and yellow stripe 1-like transporters. Annals of Botany 103, 111.Google Scholar
Ehdaie, B. & Waines, J. G. (2001). Sowing date and nitrogen rate effects on dry matter and nitrogen partitioning in bread and durum wheat. Field Crops Research 73, 4761.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Erenoglu, E. B., Kutman, U. B., Ceylan, Y., Yildiz, B. & Cakmak, I. (2011). Improved nitrogen nutrition enhances root uptake, root-to-shoot translocation and remobilization of zinc (65Zn) in wheat. New Phytologist 189, 438448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fageria, N. K., Baligar, V. C. & Clark, R. B. (2002). Micronutrients in crop production. Advances in Agronomy 77, 185268.Google Scholar
Finkemeier, I., Kluge, C., Metwally, A., Georgi, M., Grotjohann, N. & Dietz, K. J. (2003). Alterations in Cd-induced gene expression under nitrogen deficiency in Hordeum vulgare. Plant Cell and Environment 26, 821833.Google Scholar
Gao, X., Zou, C., Zhang, F., van der Zee, S. E. A. T. M. & Hoffland, E. (2005). Tolerance to zinc deficiency in rice correlates with zinc uptake and translocation. Plant and Soil 278, 253261.Google Scholar
Graham, R., Senadhira, D., Beebe, S., Iglesias, C. & Monasterio, I. (1999). Breeding for micronutrient density in edible portions of staple food crops: conventional approaches. Field Crops Research 60, 5780.Google Scholar
Guo, S., Chen, G., Zhou, Y. & Shen, Q. (2007). Ammonium nutrition increases photosynthesis rate under water stress at early development stage of rice (Oryza sativa L.). Plant and Soil 296, 115124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hao, H. L., Wei, Y. Z., Yang, X. E., Feng, Y. & Wu, C. Y. (2007). Effects of different nitrogen fertilizer levels on Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn concentrations in shoot and grain quality in rice (Oryza sativa). Rice Science 14, 289294.Google Scholar
Haydon, M. J. & Cobbett, C. S. (2007). Transporters of ligands for essential metal ions in plants. New Phytologist 174, 499506.Google Scholar
Hossain, M. A., Jahiruddin, M., Islam, M. R. & Mian, M. H. (2008). The requirement of zinc for improvement of crop yield and mineral nutrition in the maize–mungbean–rice system. Plant and Soil 306, 1322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hotz, C. & Brown, K. H. (2004). Assessment of the risk of zinc deficiency in populations and options for its control. Food and Nutrition Bulletin 25 (Suppl 2), S94S204.Google Scholar
Jiang, W., Struik, P. C., Lingna, J., van Keulen, H., Ming, Z. & Stomph, T. J. (2007). Uptake and distribution of root-applied or foliar-applied 65Zn after flowering in aerobic rice. Annals of Applied Biology 150, 383391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Khan, A. & Weaver, C. M. (1989). Pattern of Zinc-65 incorporation into soybean seeds by root absorption, stem injection, and foliar application. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 37, 855860.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kumar, M. & Qureshi, F. M. (2012). Dynamics of zinc fractions, availability to wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and residual effect on succeeding maize (Zea mays L.) in inceptisols. Journal of Agricultural Science (Canada) 4, 236245.Google Scholar
Kutman, U. B., Yildiz, B., Ozturk, L. & Cakmak, I. (2010). Biofortification of durum wheat with zinc through soil and foliar applications of nitrogen. Cereal Chemistry 87, 19.Google Scholar
Lancashire, P. D., Bleiholder, H., Van Den Boom, T., Langelüddeke, P., Stauss, R., Weber, E. & Witzenberger, A. (1991). A uniform decimal code for growth stages of crops and weeds. Annals of Applied Biology 119, 561601.Google Scholar
Liang, J., Han, B. Z., Han, L., Nout, M. J. R. & Hamer, R. J. (2007). Iron, zinc and phytic acid content of selected rice varieties from China. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 87, 504510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Marschner, H. (1993). Zinc uptake from soils. In Zinc in Soils and Plants (Ed. Marschner, H.), pp. 5977. Developments in Plant and Soil Science vol. 55. Netherlands: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mayer, J. E., Pfeiffer, W. H. & Beyer, P. (2008). Biofortified crops to alleviate micronutrient malnutrition. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 11, 166170.Google Scholar
Naik, S. K. & Das, D. K. (2008). Relative performance of chelated zinc and zinc sulphate for lowland rice (Oryza sativa L.). Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 81, 219227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nestel, P., Bouis, H. E., Meenakshi, J. V. & Pfeiffer, W. (2006). Biofortification of staple food crops. Journal of Nutrition 136, 10641067.Google Scholar
Ozturk, L., Yazici, M. A., Yucel, C., Torun, A., Cekic, C., Bagci, A., Ozkan, H., Braun, H. J., Sayers, Z. & Cakmak, I. (2006). Concentration and localization of zinc during seed development and germination in wheat. Physiologia Plantarum 128, 144152.Google Scholar
Palmer, C. M. & Guerinot, M. L. (2009). Facing the challenges of Cu, Fe and Zn homeostasis in plants. Nature Chemical Biology 5, 333340.Google Scholar
Pearson, J. N. & Rengel, Z. (1995). Uptake and distribution of 65Zn and 54Mn in wheat grown at sufficient and deficient levels of Zn and Mn II. During grain development. Journal of Experimental Botany 46, 841845.Google Scholar
Pedas, P., Schjoerring, J. K. & Husted, S. (2009). Identification and characterization of zinc-starvation-induced ZIP transporters from barley roots. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 47, 377383.Google Scholar
Prom-u-thai, C., Rerkasem, B., Cakmak, I. & Huang, L. B. (2010). Zinc fortification of whole rice grain through parboiling process. Food Chemistry 120, 858863.Google Scholar
Qadar, A. (2002). Selecting rice genotypes tolerant to zinc deficiency and sodicity stresses. I. Differences in zinc, iron, manganese, copper, phosphorus concentrations, and phosphorus/zinc ratio in their leaves. Journal of Plant Nutrition 25, 457473.Google Scholar
Rehman, H., Aziz, T., Faroop, M., Wakeel, A. & Rengel, Z. (2012). Zinc nutrition in rice production systems: a review. Plant and Soil 361, 203226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shi, R., Zhang, Y., Chen, X., Sun, Q., Zhang, F., Römheld, V. & Zou, C. (2010). Influence of long-term nitrogen fertilization on micronutrient density in grain of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Journal of Cereal Science 51, 165170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shivay, Y. S., Kumar, D. & Prasad, R. (2008). Effect of zinc-enriched urea on productivity, zinc uptake and efficiency of an aromatic rice-wheat cropping system. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 81, 229243.Google Scholar
Sims, J. T. & Johnson, G. V. (1991). Micronutrients soil tests. In Micronutrients in Agriculture (Eds Mortvedt, J. J., Cox, F. R., Shuman, L. M. & Welch, R. M.), pp. 427472. Madison, WI, USA: The Soil Science Society of America Book Series No. 4, Soil Science Society of America.Google Scholar
Singh, A. K., Manibhushan, , Meena, M. K. & Upadhyaya, A. (2012). Effect of sulphur and zinc on rice performance and nutrient dynamics in plants and soil of Indo Gangetic plains. Journal of Agricultural Science (Canada) 4, 162170.Google Scholar
Stock, D. & Holloway, P. J. (1993). Possible mechanisms for surfactant-induced foliar uptake of agrochemicals. Pesticide Science 38, 165177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sui, B., Feng, X., Tian, G., Hu, X., Shen, Q. & Guo, S. (2013). Optimizing nitrogen supply increases rice yield and nitrogen use efficiency by regulating yield formation factors. Field Crops Research 150, 99107.Google Scholar
Tabassum, S., Jeet, S., Kumar, R., Dev, C. M., Kumar, P. & Rehana, (2014) Effect of organic manure and zinc fertilization on zinc transformation and biofortification of crops in vertisols of central India. Journal of Agricultural Science (Canada) 6, 221231.Google Scholar
Vasconcelos, M., Datta, K., Oliva, N., Khalekuzzaman, M., Torrizo, L., Krishnan, S., Oliveira, M., Goto, F. & Datta, S. K. (2003). Enhanced iron and zinc accumulation in transgenic rice with the ferritin gene. Plant Science 164, 371378.Google Scholar
Verma, T. S. & Tripathi, B. R. (1983). Zinc and iron interaction in submerged paddy. Plant and Soil 72, 107116.Google Scholar
Wang, Y., Xue, Y. & Li, J. (2005). Towards molecular breeding and improvement of rice in China. Trends in Plant Science 10, 610614.Google Scholar
Waters, B. M., Chu, H. H., DiDonato, R. J., Roberts, L. A., Eisley, R. B., Lahner, B., Salt, D. E. & Walker, E. L. (2006). Mutations in Arabidopsis Yellow Stripe-Like1 and Yellow Stripe-Like3 reveal their roles in metal ion homeostasis and loading of metal ions in seeds. Plant Physiology 141, 14461458.Google Scholar
Waters, B. M., Uauy, C., Dubcovsky, J. & Grusak, M. A. (2009). Wheat (Triticum aestivum) NAM proteins regulate the translocation of iron, zinc, and nitrogen compounds from vegetative tissues to grain. Journal of Experimental Botany 60, 42634274.Google Scholar
Welch, R. M. (2005). Biotechnology, biofortification, and global health. Food and Nutrition Bulletin 26, 304306.Google Scholar
Welch, R. M. & Graham, R. D. (2004). Breeding for micronutrients in staple food crops from a human nutrition perspective. Journal of Experimental Botany 55, 353364.Google Scholar
White, J. G. & Zasoski, R. J. (1999). Mapping soil micronutrients. Field Crops Research 60, 1126.Google Scholar
White, P. J. & Broadley, M. R. (2005). Biofortifying crops with essential mineral elements. Trends in Plant Science 10, 586593.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wissuwa, M., Ismail, A. M. & Graham, R. D. (2008). Rice grain zinc concentrations as affected by genotype, native soil-zinc availability, and zinc fertilization. Plant and Soil 306, 3748.Google Scholar
Zhang, J., Wu, L. & Wang, M. (2008). Can iron and zinc in rice grains (Oryza sativa L.) be biofortified with nitrogen fertilisation under pot conditions? Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 88, 11721177.Google Scholar
Zhao, A., Lu, X., Chen, Z., Tian, X. & Yang, X. (2011). Zinc fertilization methods on zinc absorption and translocation in wheat. Journal of Agricultural Science (Canada) 3, 2835.Google Scholar
Zimmermann, M. B. & Hurrell, R. F. (2002). Improving iron, zinc and vitamin A nutrition through plant biotechnology. Current Opinion in Biotechnology 13, 142145.Google Scholar