Apr 28, 2009

Analysing nitrogen responses of cereals to prioritize routes to the improvement of nitrogen use efficiency

Journal of Experimental Botany
Roger Sylvester-Bradley, Daniel R Kindred


The efficient use of fertilizer nitrogen (N) is crucial to sustainable human nutrition. All crops receive significant amounts of additional N in temperate environments, through fixation or fertilizer use. This paper reviews progress towards the efficient use of fertilizer N by winter wheat (Triticum aesitivum L.) and spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) in the UK, acknowledging that on-farm this is governed by economics. Recent multi-site N response experiments on old and modern varieties show that yield improvements since the 1980s have been accompanied by increases in economic optimum N amounts for wheat but not for spring barley. On-farm N use efficiency (NUE) has increased for barley because increased yields with optimum N were associated with compensatory decreases in grain N concentration, whereas on-farm NUE has not increased for wheat because grain N concentration has not changed and improvements in N capture were insufficient to make up for the increased yield. Genetic effects on NUE are shown to differ markedly depending on whether they are determined at a single N rate, as in variety trials, or with optimum N amounts. It is suggested that, in order to elicit faster improvement in NUE on farms, breeding and variety test...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Hordeum vulgare antigen
Sample Fixation
Seasonal Variation
Hordeum vulgare
Barley extract
Barley allergenic extract

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