Contrasting effects of dwarfing alleles and nitrogen availability on mineral concentrations in wheat grain

Michael Gooding, Mingsheng Fan, Steve P. Mcgrath, Peter R. Shewry, Fang-jie Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (SciVal)


Background and aim
Concentrations of essential minerals in plant foods may have declined in modern high-yielding cultivars grown with large applications of nitrogen fertilizer (N). We investigated the effect of dwarfing alleles and N rate on mineral concentrations in wheat.

Gibberellin (GA)-insensitive reduced height (Rht) alleles were compared in near isogenic wheat lines. Two field experiments comprised factorial combinations of wheat variety backgrounds, alleles at the Rht-B1 locus (rht-B1a, Rht-B1b, Rht-B1c), and different N rates. A glasshouse experiment also included Rht-D1b and Rht-B1b+D1b in one background.

In the field, depending on season, Rht-B1b increased crop biomass, dry matter (DM) harvest index, grain yield, and the economically-optimal N rate (N opt ). Rht-B1b did not increase uptake of Cu, Fe, Mg or Zn so these minerals were diluted in grain. Nitrogen increased DM yield and mineral uptake so grain concentrations were increased (Fe in both seasons; Cu, Mg and Zn in one season). Rht-B1b reduced mineral concentrations at N opt in the most N responsive season. In the glasshouse experiment, grain yield was reduced, and mineral concentrations increased, with Rht allele addition.

Effects of Rht alleles on Fe, Zn, Cu and Mg concentrations in wheat grain are mostly due to their effects on DM, rather than of GA-insensitivity on N opt or mineral uptake. Increased N requirement in semi-dwarf varieties partly offsets this dilution effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-107
Number of pages15
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number1-2
Early online date04 Apr 2012
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2012


  • Rht alleles
  • wheat grain
  • mineral concerntration
  • nitrogen fertilizer
  • green revolution


Dive into the research topics of 'Contrasting effects of dwarfing alleles and nitrogen availability on mineral concentrations in wheat grain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this