Agronomic bio-fortification of iron, zinc and selenium enhance growth, quality and uptake of different sorghum accessions

Qureshi M.T., Ahmad M.F., Iqbal N., Waheed H., Hussain S., Brestič M., Anjum A., Noorka I.R. (2021): Agronomic bio-fortification of iron, zinc and selenium enhance growth, quality and uptake of different sorghum accessions. Plant Soil Environ., 67: 549–557.


download PDF

Agronomic bio-fortification is one of the main approaches for mitigation of micronutrient shortage in human populations and endorses sustainable production of food and feed. Studies related to agronomic bio-fortification of crops are mainly focused on single or rarely two micronutrients application, and no attempt has made to study the combined effect of zinc (Zn), iron (Fe) and selenium (Se) on forage sorghum. Therefore, this research was accomplished to evaluate the effect of Zn, Fe and Se bio-fortification on diverse sorghum accessions. The field experiments were conducted in a randomised complete block design with a split-plot arrangement. The treatments comprised of Zn (10 mg/L as ZnSO4∙5H2O), Fe (7 mg/L as FeSO4∙7H2O), Se (3 mg/L as SeSO4) and CK (control) were applied to five sorghum accessions: G1 (Y-16), G2 (YSH-166), G3 (YSH-134), G4 (YSS-98) and G5 (YSH-132). According to our results, the sorghum accession G5 showed superiority over all other accessions and produced maximum values of all growth and quality traits except grains number per panicle and 1 000-grain weight. All applied micronutrients (Zn, Fe and Se) enhanced the growth, quality and uptake of nutrients in sorghum accessions. However, Se recorded the highest plant height, stem diameter, 1 000-grain weight and Zn produced the maximum protein, oil and starch contents. Conclusively, it can be concluded that G5 with Se must be used to achieve the optimum values of agronomic traits, while G5 with Zn found more effective to improve the quality traits of sorghum.


Ali B., Ali A., Tahir M., Ali S. (2014): Growth, seed yield and quality of mungbean as influenced by foliar application of iron sulfate. Pakistan Journal of Life and Social Sciences, 12: 20–25.
Alloway B.J. (2008): Zinc in Soils and Crop Nutrition. Brussels, International Zinc Association. Paris, International Fertiliser Industry Association. ISBN 978-90-8133-310-8
Alloway T.P. (2009): Cognitive training: improvements in academic attainment. Professional Association for Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties, 22: 57–61.
Badau M.H., Nkama I., Jideani I.A. (2005): Phytic acid content and hydrochloric acid extractability of minerals in pearl millet as affected by germination time and cultivar. Food Chemistry, 92: 425–435.
Bameri M., Abdolshahi R., Mohammadi-Nejad G., Yousefi K., Tabatabaie S.M. (2012): Effect of different microelement treatment on wheat (Triticum aestivum) growth and yield. International Research Journal of Applied and Basic Sciences, 3: 219–223.
Beta T., Corke H., Rooney L.W., Taylor J.R.N. (2001): Starch properties as affected by sorghum grain chemistry. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 81: 245–251.<245::AID-JSFA805>3.0.CO;2-S
Bouis H.E., Saltzman A. (2017): Improving nutrition through biofortification: a review of evidence from HarvestPlus, 2003 through 2016. Global Food Security, 12: 49−58.
Broadley M.R., White P.J., Hammond J.P., Zelko I., Lux A. (2007): Zinc in plants. New Phytologist, 173: 677–702.
Cakmak I., Marschner H., Bangerth F. (1989): Effect of zinc nutritional status on growth, protein metabolism and level of indole-3-acetic acid and other phytohormones in bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Journal of Experimental Botany, 40: 405–412.
Cakmak I. (2008): Enrichment of cereal grains with zinc: agronomic or genetic biofortification? Plant and Soil, 302: 1−17.
Cakmak I., Kalayci M., Kaya Y., Torun A.A., Aydin N., Wang Y., Arisoy Z., Erdem H., Yazici A., Gokmen O., Ozturk L., Horst W.J. (2010): Biofortification and localization of zinc in wheat grain. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 58: 9092–9102.
Chan S.S.L., Ferguson E.L., Bailey K., Fahmida U., Harper T.B., Gibson R.S. (2007): The concentrations of iron, calcium, zinc and phytate in cereals and legumes habitually consumed by infants living in East Lombok, Indonesia. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 20: 609–617.
Choudhary S.K., Mathur A.K., Singh P. (2015): Effect of micronutrient fertilization and methods of application on yield and quality of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) in sub humid southern plains zone. Research on Crops, 16: 59–63.
Copenhagen Consensus (2008): Press Release – Copenhagen Consensus Center. Copenhagen, Business School. Available at:
Dambiwal D., Katkar R.N., Kumawat K.R., Hakla C.R., Bairwa B., Kumar K., Lakhe S.R. (2017): Effect of soil and foliar application of zinc on sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) yield, agronomic efficiency and apparent recovery efficiency. International Journal of Chemical Studies, 5: 435–438.
De Farias Guedes V.H., de Mello Prado R., Frazão J.J., Oliveira K.S., Cazetta J.O. (2020): Foliar-applied silicon in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) alleviate zinc deficiency. Silicon, 1–7. doi:
Fang Y., Wang L., Xin Z.H., Zhao L.Y., An X.X., Hu Q.H. (2008): Effect of foliar application of zinc, selenium, and iron fertilizers on nutrients concentration and yield of rice grain in China. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 56: 2079–2084.
Flores R.A., Arruda E.M., Damin V., Souza J.P.Jr., Maranhão D.D.C., Correia M.A.R., de Mello Prado R. (2018): Physiological quality and dry mass production of Sorghum bicolor following silicon (Si) foliar application. Australian Journal of Crop Science, 12: 631–638.
Heidarian A.R., Kord H., Mostafavi K., Lak A.P., Mashhadi F.A. (2011): Investigating Fe and Zn foliar application on yield and its components of soybean (Glycine max (L) Merr.) at different growth stages. Journal of Agricultural Biotechnology and Sustainable Development, 3: 189–197.
Hossain A., Skalický M., Brestič M., Maitra S., Sarker S., Ahmad Z., Vemuri H., Garai S., Mondal M., Bhatt R., Kumar P., Banerjee P., Saha S., Islam T., Laing A.M. (2021): Selenium biofortification: roles, mechanisms, responses and prospects. Molecules, 26: 881–909.
Jackson M.L. (1962): Soil Chemical Analysis. London, Constable and Co. Ltd.
Khalid M.F., Ali A., Waheed H., Safdar M.E., Javaid M.M., Hayyat M.S., Raza A., Farooq N., Ali H.H. (2019): Exploring the role of zinc fertilization methods for agronomic bio-fortification and its impact on phenology, growth and yield characteristics of maize. Semina: Ciências Agrárias, 40: 2209–2222.
Kulamarva A.G., Sosle V.R., Raghavan G.S.V. (2009): Nutritional and rheological properties of sorghum. International Journal of Food Properties, 12: 55–69.
Lestienne I., Icard-Verniere C., Mouquet C., Picq C., Treche S. (2005): Effects of soaking whole cereal and legume seeds on iron, zinc and phytate contents. Food Chemistry, 89: 421–425.
Malakooti S.H., Majidian M., Ehteshami S.M., Rabiee M. (2017): Evaluation of iron and zinc foliar and soil application on quantitative and qualitative characteristics of two soybean cultivars. A Journal of Multidisciplinary Science and Technology, 8: 1–7.
Martre P., Porter J.R., Jamieson P.D., Triboï E. (2003): Modeling grain nitrogen accumulation and protein composition to understand the sink/source regulations of nitrogen remobilization for wheat. Plant Physiology, 133: 1959–1967.
Markole S.K., Suresh K., Madhavi A., Shanti M. (2020): Agronomic biofortification and nutrient uptake of sorghum (Sorghum biochor L.) as influenced by fertilization strategies. International Journal of Chemical Studies, 8: 2107–2110.
Marschner H., Oberle H., Cakmak I., Römheld V. (1990): Growth enhancement by silicon in cucumber (Cucumis sativus) plants depends on imbalance in phosphorus and zinc supply. Plant and Soil, 124: 211–219.
Marschner H. (1995): Marschner’s Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants. London, Academic Press. ISBN: 978-0-12-384905-2
Mayer J.E., Pfeiffer W.H., Beyer P. (2008): Biofortified crops to alleviate micronutrient malnutrition. Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 11: 166–170.
Oliveira K.S., de Mello Prado R., de Farias Guedes V.H. (2020): Leaf spraying of manganese with silicon addition is agronomically viable for corn and sorghum plants. Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 20: 872–880.
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: 144–152.
Phattarakul N., Rerkasem B., Li L.J., Wu L.H., Zou C.Q., Ram H., Sohu V.S., Kang B.S., Surek H., Kalayci M., Yazici, Zhang F.S., Cakmak I. (2012): Biofortification of rice grain with zinc through zinc fertilization in different countries. Plant and Soil, 361: 131–141.
Poggi V., Arcioni A., Filippini P., Pifferi P.G. (2000): Foliar application of selenite and selenate to potato (Solanum tuberosum): effect of a ligand agent on selenium content of tubers. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 48: 4749–4751.
Ren X.L., Liu Q.L., Fu H.W., Wu D.X., Shu Q.Y. (2007): Density alteration of nutrient elements in rice grains of a low phytate mutant. Food Chemistry, 102: 1400–1406.
Rooney W.L., Blumenthal J., Bean B., Mullet J.E. (2007): Designing sorghum as a dedicated bioenergy feedstock. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, 1: 147–157.
Shenkin A. (2006): The key role of micronutrients. Clinical Nutrition, 25: 1–13.
Sims J.T. (2000): Soil test phosphorus: Olsen P. In: Pierzynski G.M.: Methods of Phosphorus Analysis for Soils, Sediments, Residuals, and Waters. Manhattan, Kansas State University, 20–21. ISBN: 1-58161-396-2
Soleymani A., Shahrajabian M.H. (2012): The effects of Fe, Mn and Zn foliar application on yield, ash and protein percentage of forage sorghum in climatic condition of Esfahan. International Journal of Biology, 4: 92–96.
Steel R., Torrie J., Dickey D. (1997): Principles and Procedures of Statistics: A Biometric Approach. 3rd Edition. New York, WCB/McGraw Hill Companies Inc. ISBN-13: 978-0070610286
Stein A.J. (2010): Global impacts of human mineral malnutrition. Plant and Soil, 335: 133–154.
Teixeira G.C.M., de Mello Prado R., Oliveira K.S., D’Amico-Damião V., da Silveira Sousa G.Jr. (2020): Silicon increases leaf chlorophyll content and iron nutritional efficiency and reduces iron deficiency in sorghum plants. Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 20: 1311–1320.
Thiruppathi M., Thanunathan K., Prakash M., Imayavaramban V. (2001): Use of biofertilizer, phytohormone and zinc as a cost effective agrotechnique for increasing sesame productivity. Sesame and Safflower Newsletter, 16: 46–50.
Welch R.M., Graham R.D. (1999): A new paradigm for world agriculture: meeting human needs: productive, sustainable, nutritious. Field Crops Research, 60: 1–10.
White P.J., Broadley M.R. (2009): Biofortification of crops with seven mineral elements often lacking in human diets – iron, zinc, copper, calcium, magnesium, selenium and iodine. New Phytologist, 182: 49–84.
White P.J., Broadley M.R. (2005): Biofortifying crops with essential mineral elements. Trends in Plant Science, 10: 586–593.
White P.J., Whiting S.N., Baker A.J.M., Broadley M.R. (2002): Does zinc move apoplastically to the xylem in roots of Thlaspi caerulescens? New Phytologist, 153: 201–207.
Witold G., Wronska M., Diatta J.B., Dullin P. (2008): Effect of zinc foliar application at an early stage of maize growth on patterns of nutrients and dry matter accumulation by the canopy. Part I. Zinc uptake patterns and its redistribution among maize organs. Journal of Elementology, 13: 17–28.
WHO (2012): The World Health Report 2012. Reducing Risks, Promoting Healthy Life. Geneva, United Nation Press.
Wright R.J., Stuczynski T. (1996): Atomic absorption and flame emission spectrometry. Methods of Soil Analysis: Part 3 Chemical Methods, 5: 65–90.
Zeidan M.S., Mohamed M.F., Hamouda H.A. (2010): Effect of foliar fertilization of Fe, Mn and Zn on wheat yield and quality in low sandy soils fertility. World Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 6: 696–699.
Zou C.Q., Zhang Y.Q., Rashid A., Ram H., Savasli E., Arisoy R.Z., Ortiz-Monasterio I., Simunji S., Wang Z.H., Sohu V., Hassan M., Kaya Y., Onder O., Lungu O., Mujahid M.Y., Joshi A.K., Zelenskiy Y., Zhang F.S., Cakmak I. (2012): Biofortification of wheat with zinc through zinc fertilization in seven countries. Plant and Soil, 361: 119–130.
download PDF

© 2022 Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Prohlášení o přístupnosti