Yield dilution of grain Zn in wheat grown in open-top chamber experiments with elevated CO2 and O3 exposure.


Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grain Zn data from six open-top chamber experiments performed in south-west Sweden were combined to study the relationship between Zn accumulation and grain yield, grain protein, and yield components. Treatments included, in addition to open-top chamber controls, elevated CO2, elevated O3, combined CO2 and O3 exposure, combined elevated CO2 and supplemental irrigation, supplemental irrigation, and ambient air comparison plots. The grain Zn concentration was strongly correlated with grain protein (R2 = 0.90) over the range of the experimental treatments, representing non-soil factors. A significant yield dilution effect was found for Zn. For a 10% increase in grain yield, Zn yield was increased by 6.8% on average. Effects on Zn yield correlated strongly with effects on grain protein yield, with a slope close to unity, showing that yield dilution effects for grain Zn and grain protein were similar. Treatment effects on grain Zn concentration were related to effects on grain weight (P < 0.01) and grain number (P < 0.05), but not to harvest index. It was concluded that yield stimulation caused by rising CO2 concentrations is likely to lead to reduced Zn concentrations of wheat grain, thus reducing the nutritional quality.

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Last updated on 02/05/2016