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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #357879

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Biotic and Abiotic Stress Tolerance and Nutritional Quality in Hard Winter Wheat

Location: Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research

Title: Nitrogen and sulfur effects on winter wheat yield and quality

item WILSON, TARA - Kansas State University
item NELSON, NATHAN - Kansas State University
item FRITZ, ALLAN - Kansas State University
item Guttieri, Mary

Submitted to: Proceedings Great Plains Soil Fertility Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/23/2018
Publication Date: 3/6/2018
Citation: 2018. Nitrogen and sulfur effects on winter wheat yield and quality. Proceedings Great Plains Soil Fertility Conference. 17:125-129.

Interpretive Summary: Asparagine is an essential amino acid precursor of protein in wheat grain. Any interruption in grain protein assembly in the developing seed can potentially increase asparagine concentration in harvested grain. In the preparation of some foods, asparagine is converted to acrylamide, which is a health concern. This research examined the role of sulfur and nitrogen fertilization in regulating final asparagine concentration in harvested grain of three winter wheat varieties grown on sulfur-deficient soil. Asparagine concentration was 7-fold greater in grain grown without supplemental sulfur. Nitrogen fertilizer and wheat variety also affected asparagine concentration, but were much less substantial than the effect of sulfur fertilization. These results indicate that adequate sulfur fertility is an important component of producing wheat with low asparagine concentration.

Technical Abstract: High concentrations of asparagine in winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) can lead to acrylamide production in baked food products, which can be a health concern. Fertility and genetics may impact the amount of asparagine in winter wheat. The objectives of this study are to determine the effect of genetics, nitrogen (N), and sulfur (S) fertility on grain yield, asparagine concentration, and protein in winter wheat. This experiment is set up in a 3X2X4 factorial where there are 3 levels of N (50, 90 and 130 lb./ac), 2 levels of S (0 and 20 lb./ac as ammonium sulfate), and 4 levels of genotype (Everest, Fuller, Jagger, and 2137), in a split-split plot design with four replications. Nitrogen was the whole plot, S was the sub plot and the genotype was the sub-sub plot. The experiment was conducted in Manhattan, KS on a Belvue Silt Loam soil with organic matter concentration of 0.9 % and 6 lb./ac of S in the upper 24 in of the soil. Grain yield of all four genotypes increased with sulfur application. We found a strong S by N interaction (p<0.001). When only N was applied there was no increase in yield. However, when S was applied with N, grain yield increased by 57%. Asparagine concentration in grain was affected by N, S, genotype, and a N by genotype interaction. Without S, Fuller and Jagger had asparagine concentrations of 20.7 to 21.0 µmol/g and Everest and 2137 had lower asparagine concentrations of 12.8 to 13.8 µmol/g (p<0.05). When S was applied, asparagine concentrations declined to < 3 µmol/g (p<0.05) and there were not any differences between genotypes (p>0.05). Information from this study will help producers manage their fields and change their practices to limit the asparagine concentrations in their grain, limiting the health concerns associated with acrylamide, and gaining maximum growth potential and yields.