Effect of nitrogen fertilization of wheat (Triticum spp.) on chemical and biochemical composition and performance of seeds Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/08612r24s

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  • High protein wheat seeds frequently perform better than low protein seeds of the same variety. Protein content of seeds can be increased by management practices, the most important of which is rate and timing of N applications. The purpose of this study was to determine the chemical, biochemical and physiological changes that occur in seeds as a result of nitrogen fertilization, and to relate these changes to seed performance. Seeds of Yamhill, Paha and Hyslop soft white winter wheat were produced with N applications of 0 to 450 kg/ha. Applications were made at planting, flower initiation, and anthesis. Supplemental irrigation was supplied. Applications of 150 and 300 kg N /ha increased the grain yield and protein yield per hectare, seed size, and percent and amount of protein per seed of Yamhill wheat. N applications caused several biochemical changes in the food reserve of the seeds. These included increases in the amounts of gluten, each amino acid studied and free amino acids. The amount of soluble sugars decreased slightly and starch remained constant with high rates of N. N also caused several biochemical changes in embryos. These included increases in: free amino acids and soluble sugars; protein concentrations and amount per embryo; ADP, ATP and energy charge. Regardless of protein concentration, the quantities of solubles and adenylate phosphates were higher in larger embryos. Biochemical changes in seedlings associated with N applications and higher protein content included: more sugars and free amino acids; higher amounts of ATP, ADP and total AP; and faster rate and higher net translocation of food reserves. Small seeds contained a higher concentration of ash, some mineral elements, soluble sugars and free amino acids. The total amount of these compounds per seed, however, was related to protein content and seed size. The large seeds with high protein concentration produced seedlings with the highest ADP, ATP and total AP content, energy charge and growth potential. Smaller seeds absorbed water and germinated faster than larger seeds. Seedlings from small seeds produced longer roots and shoots during the early stages of growth, but their growth rate was slower at later stages. High protein seeds of Hyslop, Paha and Yamhill outyielded low protein seeds by 12 to 17%. Yield differences were obtained when N was added to the crop, but not in the absence of added N. These and other studies indicate the potential for improving wheat seed and quality by applying specialized management practices for seed production rather than managing for grain production.
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