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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2023, Vol. 22 Issue (1): 235-250    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.07.003
Agro-ecosystem & Environment Advanced Online Publication | Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search |
Local nitrogen application increases maize post-silking nitrogen uptake of responsive genotypes via enhanced deep root growth
CHEN Zhe1, REN Wei1, YI Xia1, LI Qiang2, CAI Hong-guang3, Farhan ALI4, YUAN Li-xing1, MI Guo-hua1, PAN Qing-chun1, CHEN Fan-jun1, 2

1 College of Resources and Environmental Sciences/National Academy of Agriculture Green Development/Key Laboratory of Plant-Soil Interactions, Ministry of Education, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, P.R.China

2 Sanya Institute of China Agricultural University, Sanya 572025, P.R.China

3 Institute of Agricultural Resource and Environment, Jilin Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Changchun 130033, P.R.China

4 Cereal Crops Research Institute, Pirsabak Nowshera 24110, Pakistan

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土壤中的氮素分布不均,在氮素富集的土壤区域内,植物根系大量的生长。然而,不同玉米基因型根系对局部施氮的响应与氮素吸收效率之间的关系尚不清楚。本研究以4个玉米品种为研究对象,探讨根系生长对局部施氮响应的基因型差异及对氮素吸收的影响。在水培采用分根培养体系局部供氮,在田间采用条施和穴施的局部施氮方法。结果表明,不同品种根系局部氮响应在水培和田间条件之间具有高度相关性(r>0.99)。在水培局部供氮条件下,强响应品种郑单958先玉335先锋32D22的侧根长增加了50-63%,根系生物量增加了36-53%,而弱响应品种蠡玉13的根系生长响应较小田间条件下,3个强响应品种的根长在40-60 cm土层显著增加66-75%,而蠡玉13的根长变化幅度显著较低。此外,局部施氮肥促进强响应品种的花后氮吸收,增幅达16-88%并且促进了郑单958的籽粒产量显著增加10-12%相关分析发现,产量与40-60 cm土层根长呈显著正相关r=0.39)综上所述可在苗期鉴定玉米品种对局部施氮的响应类型,生产中强响应型玉米品种与局部施用氮肥配套应用;同时可将“根系局部施氮响应能力”作为玉米氮高效遗传改良的目标性状


Nitrogen (N) is unevenly distributed throughout the soil and plant roots proliferate in N-rich soil patches.  However, the relationship between the root response to localized N supply and maize N uptake efficiency among different genotypes is unclear.  In this study, four maize varieties were evaluated to explore genotypic differences in the root response to local N application in relation to N uptake.  A split-root system was established for hydroponically-grown plants and two methods of local N application (local banding and local dotting) were examined in the field.  Genotypic differences in the root length response to N were highly correlated between the hydroponic and field conditions (r>0.99).  Genotypes showing high response to N, ZD958, XY335 and XF32D22, showed 50‒63% longer lateral root length and 36‒53% greater root biomass in N-rich regions under hydroponic conditions, while the LY13 genotype did not respond to N.  Under field conditions, the root length of the high-response genotypes was found to increase by 66‒75% at 40‒60 cm soil depth, while LY13 showed smaller changes in root length.  In addition, local N application increased N uptake at the post-silking stage by 16‒88% in the high-response genotypes and increased the grain yield of ZD958 by 10‒12%.  Moreover, yield was positively correlated with root length at 40‒60 cm soil depth (r=0.39).  We conclude that local fertilization should be used for high-response genotypes, which can be rapidly identified at the seedling stage, and selection for “local-N responsive roots” can be a promising trait in maize breeding for high nitrogen uptake efficiency.  

Keywords:  genotypic difference        local nitrogen       maize       nitrogen efficient       root  
Received: 29 January 2022   Accepted: 31 March 2022

This work was financially supported by the Hainan Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (321CXTD443) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31972485 and 31971948). 

About author:  Received 29 January, 2022 Accepted 31 March, 2022 CHEN Zhe, E-mail:; Correspondence CHEN Fan-jun, Tel: +86-10-62734454, E-mail:

Cite this article: 

CHEN Zhe, REN Wei, YI Xia, LI Qiang, CAI Hong-guang, Farhan ALI, YUAN Li-xing, MI Guo-hua, PAN Qing-chun, CHEN Fan-jun. 2023. Local nitrogen application increases maize post-silking nitrogen uptake of responsive genotypes via enhanced deep root growth. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 22(1): 235-250.

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