Soil and foliar zinc application to biofortify broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica L.): effects on the zinc concentration and bioavailability A., Broadley M.R., Poblaciones M.J. (2020): Soil and foliar zinc application to biofortify broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica L.): effects on the zinc concentration and bioavailability. Plant Soil Environ., 66: 113-118.
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Agronomic zinc (Zn) biofortification of crops could help to alleviate dietary Zn deficiency, which is likely to affect more than one billion people worldwide. To evaluate the efficiency of agronomic Zn biofortification of broccoli, four application treatments were tested: no Zn application (control); soil application of 5 mg/kg ZnSO4·7 H2O (soil); two sprays (15 mL/pot each) of 0.25% (w/v) ZnSO4·7 H2O (foliar); and soil + foliar combination. Soil Zn application increased Zn-DTPA (diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid) concentration by 3.7-times but did not affect plant growth or plant Zn concentration. Foliar Zn application increased stem + leaves and floret Zn concentration by 78 and 23 mg Zn/kg, respectively, with good bioavailability based on phytic acid concentration. Boiling decreased mineral concentration by 19%, but increased bioavailability by decreasing the phytic acid concentration. The entire broccoli could constitute a good nutritional source for animals and humans. An intake of 100 g boiled florets treated with the foliar treatment will cover about 36% of recommended dietary intake (RDI) of Zn, together with 30% of Ca, 94% of K, 32% of Mg, 6% of Na, 55% of P, 60% of S, 10% of Cu, 22% of Fe, 43% of Mn, and 35% of Se RDIs.

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