nc in Soils and Crop Nutrit
Presented by: Dr. Mohammad Shahid Scientist Soil Science & Microbiology Central Rice Research Institute

Some Facts about Zn
•Zinc (Zn) is an essential micronutrient and has particular physiological functions in all living systems •Zinc deficiency appears to be the most widespread and frequent micronutrient deficiency problem in crops worldwide, resulting in severe losses in yield and nutritional quality •It is estimated that nearly half the soils on which cereals are grown have levels of available Zn low enough to cause Zn deficiency. Since cereal grains have inherently low Zn concentrations, growing them on these potentially Zndeficient soils further decreases grain Zn concentration

as the top priority global issue and concluded that elimination of the Zn deficiency problem will result in immediate high impacts and high returns for humanity in the developing world .•Zinc deficiency in humans is a critical nutritional and health problem in the world. ranging from 4 to 73 % in different countries •The recent analyses made under the Copenhagen Consensus in 2008 identified Zn deficiency. It affects. together with vitamin A deficiency. on average. onethird of the world’s population.

can render a deficiency of zinc more likely. especially phosphorus. it has recognized as a widespread and important nutritional problem throughout the rice-growing world. After then. This has involved a change from traditional agriculture. 1915) and subsequently in barley and dwarf sunflower (Sommer & Lipman. high-yielding plant varieties with relatively large amounts of macronutrient fertilizers and agrochemicals. 1926) Nene (1966) in India. Many of the new crop varieties are much more susceptible to zinc deficiency than the traditional crops and the increased use of macronutrient fertilizers. first reported zinc deficiency in lowland rice. with locally-adapted crop genotypes and low inputs of nutrients. to growing modern.History of Zinc A biological requirement for zinc was first identified by Raulin in 1869 when the common bread mould (Aspergillus niger) was found not to be able to grow in the absence of zinc The essentiality of Zn in plants was first shown in maize (Mazé. . The relatively recent discovery of widespread zinc deficiency problems in rice and wheat is linked to the intensification of farming in many developing countries.

Zinc Deficiency in World Crops .Major Areas of Reported Problems Widespread zinc deficiency Medium zinc deficiency A study for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) involving 190 field trials in 15 countries around the world by Sillanpaa (1990) showed that zinc deficiency was the most commonly occurring micronutrient deficiency problem Alloway 2008 .

Extent of Nutrient Deficiencies in India Nutrient Samples Nitrogen Phosphorus Potassium Zinc Sulphur Boron Iron Manganese Deficient (%) 89 80 50 48 40 33 12 5 .

Soil Tests for Available Zinc HCl (0.05M) DTPA (0.5 .6 .02M) Soil Test Reagent < 0.0 0.0 – (mg Zn/kg in dry soil) .0(or Critical1.1M) EDTA ( Threshold) Concentrations 1.

00-1.40-0. the higher the critical Zn concentration.38-0.00 0.78-0.46-0.80 0.34 Critical limits (mg/kg soil) The lower the availability of soil Zn and greater the sensitivity of the crop to deficiency.20 0.54 0.60 0.00 1.54-1.60-1. .45-2.00 0.90 0.95 0.ts of DTPA extractable Zn in different soils and cro Tarai Alluvial Red Black & black Soil and river belt Maize Wheat Rice Crop 0.84-1.

together with inputs from atmospheric deposition (as dust and aerosol-sized particles in dry deposition or rainfall) and inputs from agricultural activities such as livestock manures. Soils on river floodplains will also have received trace elements from floodwaters and sediments.Origin and Behavior of Zinc in Soils Trace elements in soils are derived from the geochemical weathering of the rock fragments on which the soil has formed (the soil parent material). . fertilizers and agrochemical sprays.

3548 3 .3 59. Country Australia Type of soil Highly weathered soils Alkaline non calcareous 2.0 75. 3. 6.Worldwide Range and Mean of Total Zinc ( mg kg -1 ) Concentrations in Soils S.0 132.4 50.180 4 .5 97.0 90.0 35. 1. No.0 65. France 5.2 76.0 4.0 106. USA England & Wales Calcareous soils Sandy soils Coarse loamy soils Fine Silty Soils Clayey soils Sandy soils Silty soils Loams Clayey soils Very clayey soils Sandy soils Loess soils Loams Sandy soils Loam/silt soils Clay soils Range of Zn 2 .0 37. 7.0 56.0 60.0 17.762 28 – 116 37 – 725 10 – 300 Mean Zn 34.36 5 .41 5 .0 27.0 63. Poland Germany World .0 40.5 98.

.eans and Ranges of Total Zinc Concentrations in Soils from Tropical Asia Country India India India India Philippines Vietnam Sri Lanka Indonesia Thailand Soil Type/Climatic zone Arid/semi-arid Humid/sub-humid tropics Vertisols Oxisols (coarse textured) Rice soils Ferralitic soils Patana soils (wet with high organic matter) Sulawesi and Sumatra Mean Zn 59 52 102 75 45 Range of Zn 20-89 22-74 69-76 24-30 63-135 40-485 35-102 33-174 5-158 *Total contents do not provide a good indication of the concentrations available to plants except that soils with very low total concentrations are more likely to be deficient than those with higher concentrations.

Emissions to the Sedimentary Rocks atmosphere from the burning of coal and oil Limestone 20 (e. electricity generation ). Basalt and Gabbro 100 soils receive significant inputs of zinc Diorite and Andesite 70 and other elements (and organic pollutants) Granite 48 from the atmosphere. •Agricultural Inputs • Livestock Manures •Fertilizers •Sewage Sludge •Industrial Waste Products •Agrochemicals . dunite.g.Factors Controlling the Zinc Content of •Composition of the Soil Parent Material Soils The total zinc content of a soil of Zinc in the Major Types of Rock Which Make Up the Ea Average Concentrations is largely dependent upon the geochemical composition of the weathering rock parent material on which the soil has developed Igneous Rocks •Inputs from Atmospheric Deposition Ultramafic 58 Apart from small wind-blown (e. industrial processes Clays and Shales 120 (including non-ferrous metal smelting ) and Bituminous shales 200 general urban/industrial emissions can result in variable amounts of zinc reaching soils. peridotite and serpentinite) particles of soil and rock and sea spray.g. waste Sandstone 30 incineration.

Pool of zinc sorbed non-exhangeably onto clay minerals and v insoluble metallic oxides v.Pool of weathering primary minerals . . chelated or complexed i i with organic ligands i . charges i. Organically bound pool: ions adsorbed.Forms of Zinc in Soils The total amount of zinc in soils is distributed over 5 fractions (or pools). These comprise: i The water soluble pool: present in the soil solution. i Exchangeable pool: ions bound to soil particles by electrical i .

Zinc in soils occurs in the following forms: i Free ions (Zn2+ and ZnOH+) and organically complexed zinc in . . i. i The type and amount of adsorption sites associated with the i . colloidal fraction in the soil. Adsorption and desorption i i The main parameters controlling the interactions of zinc are: i The concentration of Zn2+ and other ions in the soil solution . These reactions include: i Precipitation and dissolution. i Complexation and decomplexation i . humic compounds and iron and aluminium hydrated oxides i. comprising: clay particles. solution i Adsorbed and exchangeable zinc held on surfaces of the i . pH and redox potential of the soil v . The concentration of all ligands capable of forming organo-zinc i i complexes i . solid phase of the soil i. Secondary minerals and insoluble complexes in the solid phase i i of the soil The distribution of zinc between these forms is governed by the equilibrium constants of the corresponding reactions in which zinc is involved.

especially phosphorus .Factors Affecting the Availability of Zinc in Soils to Plants •The total zinc content •pH •Organic matter content •Clay content •Calcium carbonate content •Redox conditions •Microbial activity in the rhizosphere •Soil moisture status •Concentrations of other trace elements •Concentrations of macro-nutrients.

•High levels of phosphorus may decrease the availability of zinc. When these are replaced with "high analysis” forms of phosphatic fertilizers. the formation of hydrolyzed forms of zinc. such as mono-ammonium phosphate (MAP) and di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) the incidence of zinc deficiency has often been found to increase . such as manure.•Sandy soils and highly leached acid soils with low total and plant-available zinc concentrations are highly prone to zinc deficiency •Availability of zinc decreases with increasing soil pH due to increased adsorptive capacity. •Available zinc concentrations in soils with high organic matter contents (peat and muck soils) may be low due to either an inherently low total concentration in these organic materials and/or due to the formation of stable organic complexes with the solid-state organic matter. calcareous and heavily limed soils tend to be more prone to zinc deficiency than neutral or slightly acid soils. Alkaline. zinc may become more available due to the formation of soluble organic zinc complexes which are mobile and also probably capable of absorption into plant roots. contain significant amounts of zinc as impurities and also have an acidifying effect on soils. possible chemisorption on calcium carbonate and co-precipitation in iron oxides. such as superphosphate. •When rapidly decomposable organic matter. the onset of zinc deficiency associated with phosphorus fertilization may be due to plant physiological factors •Some forms of phosphatic fertilizers. is added to soils.

crops grown on the subsoil can be highly prone to zinc deficiency. often as a result of leveling fields for irrigation. relative to zinc. can have a combined beneficial effect on the nutrition of crop plants by both supplying nitrogen. such as paddy rice soils. The reducing conditions in periodically waterlogged soils also give rise to increased concentrations of divalent ferrous (Fe2+ ) and manganese (Mn2+ ) ions. such as ammonium nitrate and sulphate of ammonia. and also an increase in zinc availability through the acidification of the soil resulting in desorption of zinc and through improved root growth (and hence an increased volume of soil explored by roots) in the more vigorously growing plant. N. This could occur after the application of a copper fertilizer •In waterlogged soils.•Higher concentrations of copper in the soil solution.P. The topsoil contains the most organic matter and when removed there are shortages of macronutrients as well as micronutrients. and these could compete with zinc ions for uptake into roots •Nitrogen fertilizers. which is often the principal yield-limiting nutrient. •Where topsoil has been removed. sometime elevated concentrations of magnesium ions and the formation of insoluble zinc sulphide (ZnS) under strongly reducing conditions.K fertilizers usually address the macronutrient requirements but the zinc status of these "cut" soils also needs to be considered . However. can reduce the availability of zinc to a plant (and vice versa) due to competition for the same sites for absorption into the plant root. from the dissolution of their hydrous oxides. especially in calcareous soils. reducing conditions result in a rise in pH. high concentrations of bicarbonate ions.

Strongly weathered deep tropical soils 4.Gleysols (poorly drained/waterlogged soils) .Sandy soils 3.Calcareous soils 2.oil Types Associated with Widespread Zinc Deficiency in Crops 1.Vertisols 6.Saline and Sodic (salt-affected) soils 5.

Zinc in Plant Nutrition .

Physiological Aspects of Zinc in Plants In plants. between 58% and 91% of the zinc in a plant can be in a water-soluble form (low molecular weight complexes and free ions). Depending on the plant species. zinc does not undergo valency predominant forms are: •Low molecular weight complexes •Storage metalloproteins •Free ions •Insoluble forms associated with the cell walls changes and its Zinc can become inactivated within cells by the formation of complexes with organic ligands or by complexation with phosphorus. . This water-soluble fraction is widely considered to be the most physiologically active and is regarded as a better indicator of plant zinc status than total zinc contents.

structural or regulatory co-factor of a large number of enzymes. aldolase. .Zinc in Proteins In plants. Carbonic anhydrase. zinc acts as a functional.g. ribonuclease etc. More than 70 metallo-enzymes containing zinc have been identified and these occur in all of the six classes of enzymes: •Oxidoreductases •Transferases •Hydrolases •Lyases •Isomerases and •Ligases E.

Physiological Functions of Zinc •Carbohydrate Metabolism a) Photosynthesis b) Sucrose and Starch Formation •Protein Metabolism •Membrane Integrity •Auxin Metabolism •Reproduction .

Critical Concentrations from Leaf Analysis of Crops Maize Rice Wheat Crop Deficiency No response Latent Moderate to Acute (hidden) Zinc Severity of Deficiency > 10 1220 . critical leaf values range from 15 mg Zn kg-1 in rice. and 22 mg Zn kg-1 in maize.22 8 8 12 15 < –– 20 Critical Concentration (mg Zn/kg dry matter) Critical (or threshold) concentrations in leaf dry matter will also vary according to the species of plant and the position of the leaves on the plant. In general. For the whole young plant. 20 mg Zn kg-1 in wheat. . values include 22 mg Zn kg-1 in rice and 25 mg Zn kg-1 in wheat.

Symptoms of Zn Deficiency •Burning appearance of plants •Reduction in growth •Reduction in yields •Symptoms appear between two to four weeks after transplanting in case of paddy •Dusty brown spots on upper leaves of stunted plants •Uneven plant growth and patches of poorly established hills in the field. enlarge. and coalesce •White line sometimes appears along the leaf midrib •Leaf blade size is reduced . particularly near the leaf base of younger leaves •Leaves lose turgidity and turn brown as brown blotches and streaks appear on lower leaves. but the crop may recover without intervention •Tillering in paddy decreases and can stop completely and time to crop maturity increases under severe Zn deficiency •Increase spikelet sterility in rice •Chlorotic midribs.

where soils are deficient in zinc. Nevertheless.Relative Sensitivity of Crops to Zinc Deficiency High Bean Citrus Flax Fruit trees (deciduous) Grapes Hops Maize (corn) Onions Pecan nuts Rice Sorghum Sweetcorn Medium Barley Cotton Lettuce Potato Soybean Sudan grass Sugar beet Table beet Tomato L ow Alfalfa Asparagus Carrot Clover Grass Oat Pea Rye Wheat Several important food crops can be seriously affected by zinc deficiency. if the zinc supply status is inadequate. Maize and rice are the most sensitive with wheat being low sensitive. whatever the crop species’ relative sensitivity to the problem. the crops will be affected by deficiency .

Zn Nutrition of Rice Crop Rice Dynamic equilibrium of Soil Zn and Plant Uptake .

ctors Affecting Zn Availability to Rice under flooded conditi .

redox potential and microbial population. hydroxyl (OH-) or bicarbonate (HCO3-) ions due to cation/anion imbalance in the plant. Changes in pH are brought by the excretion of protons (H+). the evolution of CO2 by respiration . . and the excretion of low molecular weight organic acids.ctors Affecting Zn Availability to Rice under Aerobic Conditi Many reports have suggested lower Zn availability and uptake by rice crop under aerobic system of rice cultivation as compared to the flooded soil and the probable reasons for these changes are: •Water stress •Change in redox potential •Change in pH •Rhizpsphere effect Rhizosphere controls the bioavailability of Zn through changes in pH.

use of high levels of phosphatic fertilisers.6 mg kg-1 ) pH > 7. coastal saline soils • • • • • . Low extractable zinc concentrations (DTPA extractable Zn < 0. saline-sodic.conditions most frequently associated with zinc deficiency in High available phosphorus content. such as on calcareous soils and heavily limed soils High organic matter contents (> 3%) Perennial wetness due to low relief position High bicarbonate concentrations Sodic. Intensive cropping (without zinc fertilisation) Growing high yielding varieties of rice Increased availability of other micronutrients and phosphorus after flooding Zinc sulphide precipitation when pH decreases in alkaline soil after flooding • • • • • • • Low total zinc contents.

.Prevention of Zinc Deficiency in Rice Following strategies can prevent zinc deficiency in rice: • Grow zinc-efficient varieties which can tolerate high bicarbonate and low plant-available zinc concentrations • Broadcast zinc sulphate onto the nursery seedbed • Dip seedlings.g. or pre-soak seeds. in a 2-4% zinc oxide suspension • Use acidifying fertilisers in alkaline soils (e. replace some urea with ammonium sulphate) • Allow permanently flooded fields to drain and dry out periodically •Use of Zn containing fertilizers .

15% Zn -12% Zn .Sources of Zinc S. Name of Compounds 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Zinc Sulphate Heptahydrate ( ZnSO4.9% Zn .19.43% Zn .15 % Zn .H2O) Chelated Zinc as Zn-EDTA Chelated Zinc as Zn-EDTA Zincated Urea Zincated Phosphate (suspension) Zinc Oxide Zinc Carbonate (ZnCO3) Zinc Chloride (ZnCl2) %age of Zn & other associated nutrients Zn .7H2O) Zinc Sulphate Monohydrate (ZnSO4.2% N .60-80% Zn – 52-56% Zn – 48-50% .21%.9% Zn . S . No.33%. S .4% P2O5-12.

the yield with fresh application of 2.5 kg of Zn per ha for first four crops and 2.Frequency of Zinc Application •Zinc leaves marked residual effect of 11 kg of Zn in soil.4) when irrigated with normal quality water. so it is not necessary to apply Zn to every crop.25 kg Zn per ha continuously to each crop was not different from a single initial application of 18 kg Zinc per ha after seventh crop.75 kg per ha for next 8 to 12 crops respectively gives the largest grain response and are found optimum •Alkali soil (pH 10. The residual effect of 11 kg per ha added to soil persists in four following crops in calcareous and on six crops in noncalcareous soils •In sandy loam alkaline alluvial soils 5. suggesting that residual effectiveness of Zn applied once had not diminished .

Dipping roots of transplanted crops in solution or suspension of Zn salts .Soil application (broadcasting or band placement) 2.Foliar Application as sprays 3.Dusting seeds with Zn powder or soaking them in Zn solutions 4.Methods of Application 1.

Rates of Zinc Application •Rates of soil application of Zn vary with soil type. wheat and other crops can not be achieved unless toxicity of Na and deficiency of Ca and Zn are corrected simultaneously. Amount of zinc required for alleviating zinc deficiencies vary from severity of deficiency. soil type. So higher yields of rice. nature of crop and cultivars •Alkali soils are generally deficiet in Zn and Ca. Use of 9-10 kg of Zn/ha to alkaline soils and 4.5 kg of Zn in reclaimed alkali soils for rice-rice and rice-wheat system was found optimum •Zinc requirement of crops in alkali soils is reduced substantially by 20-25% depending upon the levels of amendments added (25-100% GR) •Fertilizer Zn requirement of crops was found to be double in coarse textured sandy soils than in fine textured loam or clayey soil for wheat and rice .

5 % zinc sulphate two to three times at 7-10 days interval just after the appearance of its deficiency can control zinc deficiency more efficiently and effectively . Best time of Zinc application is prior to sowing or transplanting of crops because maximum zinc absorption by plants takes place upon tillering or pre-flowering stages •Split application of zinc suphate in rice is recommended as 50% at the time of sowing or transplantation and remaining 50% before or upto tillering stage •Basal application of zinc in soil is found to be best. However. Seed coating with ZnO and Zn phosphate slurry successfully corrected deficiency in marginally deficient soils •Foliar sprays of 0.Time of Zn Application •Time of zinc application mainly depends upon its contents in seed or severity of its deficiency. if missed zinc deficiency can be corrected by top dressing of zinc upto 45 days.

understanding of the uptake and transport of Zn in plant systems and characterizing the response of plants to Zn deficiency are essential steps in achieving sustainable solutions to the problem of Zn deficiency in plants and humans.Conclusion Low Zn in plant tissues is a reflection of both genetic and soil related factors. . A basic knowledge of the dynamics of Zn in soils.

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