Iron and zinc micronutrients and soil inoculation of Trichoderma harzianum enhance wheat grain quality and yield

Front Plant Sci. 2022 Sep 7;13:960948. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2022.960948. eCollection 2022.

ABSTRACT

Malnutrition is mainly caused by iron and zinc micronutrient deficiencies affecting about half of the world’s population across the globe. Biofortification of staple crops is the right approach to overcome malnutrition and enhance nutrient contents in the daily food of humans. This study aimed to evaluate the role of foliar application of iron and zinc in Trichoderma harzianum treated soil on various growth characteristics, quality, and yield of wheat varieties. Plants were examined in the absence/presence of T. harzianum, and iron and zinc micronutrients in both optimal and high-stress conditions. Although the symbiotic association of T. harzianum and common wheat is utilized as an effective approach for wheat improvement because of the dynamic growth promoting the ability of the fungus, this association was found tremendously effective in the presence of foliar feeding of micronutrients for the enhancement of various growth parameters and quality of wheat. The utilization of this approach positively increased various growth parameters including spike length, grain mass, biomass, harvest index, and photosynthetic pigments. The beneficial role of T. harzianum in combination with zinc and iron in stimulating plant growth and its positive impact on the intensities of high molecular weight glutenin subunits (HMW-GS) alleles make it an interesting approach for application in eco-friendly agricultural systems. Further, this study suggests a possible alternative way that does not merely enhances the wheat yield but also its quality through proper biofortification of iron and zinc to fulfill the daily needs of micronutrients in staple food.

PMID:36160992 | PMC:PMC9490233 | DOI:10.3389/fpls.2022.960948

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