Do nitrogen and zinc application alleviate the adverse effect of heat stress on wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)?


  • Seyed Nader MOSAVIAN Lorestan University, Department of Plant Production and Genetic Engineering (IR)
  • Hamid Reza EISVAND Lorestan University, Department of Plant Production and Genetic Engineering (IR)
  • Naser AKBARI Lorestan University, Department of Plant Production and Genetic Engineering (IR)
  • Ali MOSHATATI Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University of Khuzestan, Department of Plant Production and Genetics (IR)
  • Ahmad ISMAILI Lorestan University, Department of Plant Production and Genetic Engineering (IR)



biofortification, cell-membrane thermal stability, fertilizers, planting date


Late-season heat stress (LSH) is a limiting factor for wheat production. Besides, low zinc and poor protein diet usually is a problem in low-income countries. The primary calorie source in such countries is prepared from bread. This study aims to mitigate heat stress by zinc and nitrogen application and improve zinc and protein content in wheat grain. We did the field experiments as a split-split-plot based on a randomized complete block design with four replications to assess zinc and nitrogen’s possible mitigation effect on LSH and protein and zinc enrichment of wheat grain during two years. Factors included LSH by delay in planting date (optimum, late, and very late) as the main plot, nitrogen (0, 75, 150, and 225 kg ha–1) in subplots, and zinc (0, 10, and 20 kg ha–1) as sub-subplots. We measured yield, yield components, physiological traits, zinc, and protein contents in the grain. Results showed that the highest relative water content and cell-membrane thermal stability were attained at the optimum planting date, 150 kg N ha–1 and 20 kg Zn ha–1. The maximum chlorophyll a and carotenoids contents in wheat cells were recorded in the optimum planting date, 225 kg N ha–1, and 20 kg Zn ha–1. Heat stress reduced the grain yield. In the second year of the experiment, the grain number per unit area was more than that of the first year; however, the highest grain yield was achieved in the first year owing to the higher mean grain weight. Nitrogen application decreased the adverse effects of heat stress on grain yield by increasing the grain number. Zinc application diminished the adverse effects of heat stress by increasing the mean grain weight. The adverse impact of the LSH on grain yield was more than that of biological yield. Heat stress reduced the hectolitre weight and zinc content of the grain. Meanwhile, it increased grain protein. In general, under LSH, the application of 225 kg N ha–1 and 20 kg Zn ha–1 can reduce the adverse effects of heat on the grain quality and quantity.


Agarie S, Hanaoka N, Kubota F, Agata W, Kaufman PB (1995). Measurement of cell membrane stability evaluated by electrolyte leakage as drought and heat tolerance test in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Journal of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University 40:233-240.

Ahmadi M, Zare MJ, Emam Y (2017). Study some of morpho-physiological characteristics and grain yield of wheat affected by chlormequat chloride, zinc sulfate and nitroxin application. Journal of Plant Physiology 29:1-1.

Ahmed B, Ishag AA, Hassan MK (2017). Response of two wheat cultivars (Triticum aestivum L.) to amended nitrogen fertilizer on yield and grain quality in Halfa Elgadidah area. Biology and Medicine 1:133-136.

Altuntas O, Dasgan HY, Akhoundnejad Y (2018). Silicon-induced salinity tolerance improves photosynthesis, leaf water status, membrane stability, and growth in pepper (Capsicum annuum L.). Horticultural Science 53:1820-1826.

Arnon AN (1967). Method of extraction of chlorophyll in the plants. Agronomy Journal 23:112-121.

Asakereh-Nezhad S, Lak S (2017). Evaluation of the effect of planting date on the components of wheat cultivars production in hot and cold climate. Iranian Journal of Field Crop Science 4:551-564.

Aziz N, Anwar S, Kashmir S, Ahmad J, Saeed B, Khan S (2019). Response of wheat varieties to different zinc application methods. Pure and Applied Biology 8:489-495.

Bechoff A, Dhuique-Mayer C (2016). Factors influencing micronutrient bioavailability in biofortified crops. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1-14.

Cakmak I (2000). Role of zinc in protecting plant cells from reactive oxygen species. New Phytologist 146:185-205.

Chiranjib, DB Kumar KPS (2010). A potential medicinal importance of zinc in human health and chronic disease. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences 1:5-11.

Dai J, Bean B, Brown B, Bruening W, Edwards J, Flowers M, … Wiersma J (2016). Harvest index and straw yield of five classes of wheat. Biomass and Bioenergy 85:223-228.

Damaris RN, Li M, Liu Y, Chen X, Murage H, Yang P (2016). A proteomic analysis of salt stress response in seedlings of two African rice cultivars. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Proteins and Proteomics 1864:1570-1578.

Dutta S, Mohanty, S, Tripathy, BC (2009). Role of temperature stress on chloroplast biogenesis and protein import in pea. Plant Physiology 150:050-1061.

EL-Habbal MS, Ashmawy F, Saoudi HS, Abbas I (2010). Effect of nitrogen fertilizer rates on yield, yield components and grain quality measurements of some wheat cultivars using spad-meter. Egyptian Journal of Agricultural Research 88:1-9.

Evans, J R (1983). Nitrogen and photosynthesis in the flag leaf of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Plant Physiology 72:297-302.

Fahad S, Bajwa AA, Nazir U, Anjum SA, Farooq A, Zohaib A, ... Huang J (2017). Crop production under drought and heat stress: plant responses and management options. Frontiers in Plant Science 8:1147.

Farooq M, Bramley H, Palta JA, Siddique KHM (2011). Heat stress in wheat during reproductive and grain filling phases. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 30:491-507.

Ghodyeh Zarinabadi I, Ehsanzadeh P (2014). Evaluating quality attributes of three durum wheat genotypes under different plant densities in Isfahan. Journal of Cereal Research 2:115-125.

Giunta F, Pruneddu G, Motzo R (2019). Grain yield and grain protein of old and modern durum wheat cultivars grown under different cropping systems. Field Crops Research 230:107-120.

Gomez-Coronado F, Poblaciones MJ, Almeida AS, Cakmak I (2017). Combined zinc and nitrogen fertilization in different bread wheat genotypes grown under Mediterranean conditions. Cereal Research Communications 45:154-165.

Gupta NK, Khan A, Maheshwari A, Narayan S, Chhapola OP, Arora A, Singh G (2015). Effect of post anthesis high temperature stress on growth, physiology and antioxidative defense mechanisms in contrasting wheat genotypes Indian Journal of Plant Physiology 20:103-110.

Hafez EM, Badawy SA (2018). Effect of bio fertilizers and inorganic fertilizers on growth, productivity and quality of bread wheat cultivars. Cercetari Agronomice in Moldova 4:1-16.

Halim G, Emam, Y, Shakeri E (2018). Evaluation of yield, yield components and stress tolerance indices in bread wheat cultivars at post-anthesis irrigation cut-off. Journal of Crop Production and Processing 4:121-134.

Heckathorn SA, Poeller GJ, Coleman JS, Hallberg RL (1996). Nitrogen availability alters patterns of accumulation of heat stress-induced proteins in plants. Oecologia 105(3):413-418.

Holík L, Hlisnikovský L, Kunzová E (2018). The effect of mineral fertilizers and farmyard manure on winter wheat grain yield and grain quality. Plant Soil and Environment 64:491-497.

Hu Y, Lu HF, Liu WX, Kang J, Ma G, Li SS, … Wang CY (2018). Effects of high temperature and water deficiency during grain filling on activities of key starch synthesis enzymes and starch accumulation in wheat. Acta Agronomica Sinica 44:591-600.

Joshi MA, Faridullah S, Kumar A (2016). Effect of heat stress on crop phenology, yield and seed quality attributes of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Association of Agrometeorologists 18:206-215.

Kamaei H, Eisvand HR, Nazarian F (2018). Effects of planting date, bio-fertilizer containing P solubilizing bacteria and elements foliar application of zinc and boron on physiological and agronomic traits of bread wheat (‘Aflak’ cultivar). Iranian Journal of Field Crops Research 16:165-179.

Kamanga RM, Mbega E, Ndakidemi P (2018). Drought tolerance mechanisms in plants: Physiological responses associated with water deficit stress in Solanum lycopersicum. Advances in Crop Science and Technology 6:362.

Kazemzadeh M, Peighambardoust SH, Najafi N (2013). Effect of organic and nitrogen fertilizers on physicochemical properties and bread-making quality of wheat (Triticum aestivum cv. ‘Alvand’) Journal of Food Research 2:179-197.

Kutlu I, Olgun M (2015). Determination of genetic parameters for yield components in bread wheat. International Journal of Biological Sciences 6(12):61-70.

Lotfi A (2013). The effect of end heat stress and optimal management of chemical, organic and biological fertilizer systems on agro ecological traits of wheat cultivars. Dissertation, Ramin University of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Ma D, Sun D, Wang C, Ding H, Qin H, Hou J, … Guo T (2017). Physiological responses and yield of wheat plants in zinc-mediated alleviation of drought stress. Frontiers in Plant Science 8:1-12.

Marschner H (1995). Mineral nutrition of higher plants. (2nd Ed.). London: Academic Press.

Mohanty S, Baishna BG, Tripathy C (2006). Light and dark modulation of chlorophyll biosynthetic genes in response to temperature. Planta 224:692-699.

Mondal S, Singh RP, Kehel Z, Autrique E (2015). Characterization of heat- and drought-stress tolerance in high-yielding spring wheat. Crop Science 55:1-11.

Moshatati A, Mosavi SE (2017). Bread wheat response to Zn in heat extreme heat conditions in Ahvaz. The 2nd International Congress and the Fourth National Congress on Iranian Agronomy and Plant Improvement. Iran.

Motaghi M, Sakinejad T, Mohammadi SA (2012). Technology of wheat quality. Behta Pajoohesh Press.

Niazkhani SM, Mandoulakani BA, Jafari M, Sadaghiani MR (2018). Studying the expression of ZIP1, ZIP3 and ZIP6 genes in bread wheat under Zn deficiency conditions. Cereal Research Communications 3:345-358.

Niyigaba A, Twizerimana A, Mugenzi I, Ngnadong WA, Ye YP, Wu BM, Hai JB (2019). Winter wheat grain quality, zinc and iron concentration affected by a combined foliar spray of zinc and iron fertilizers. Agronomy 9:1-18.

Pireivatlou AS, Dehdar Masjedlou B, Ramiz TA (2010). Evaluation of yield potential and stress adaptive trait in wheat genotypes under post anthesis drought stress conditions. African Journal of Agricultural Research 5:2829-2836.

Rehman SU, Bilal M, Rana RM, Tahir MN, Shah MKN, Ayalew H, Yan G (2016). Cell membrane stability and chlorophyll content variation in wheat (Triticum aestivum) genotypes under conditions of heat and drought. Crop and Pasture Science 67:712-718.

Saleem I, Javid S, Ehsan S, Niaz A, Bibi F, Ahmed ZA (2015). Improvement of wheat grain zinc and zinc daily intake by biofortification with zinc. International Journal of Plant & Soil Science 8(5):1-6.

Singh KK (2014). Response of Zinc fertilization to wheat on yield, quality, nutrients uptake and soil- fertility grown in a zinc deficient soil. European Journal of Academic Essays 1:22-26.

Tohidi Moghadam HR, Zahedi H, Ashkiani A (2013). Effect of zinc foliar application on auxin and gibberellin hormones and catalase and superoxide dismutase enzyme activity of corn (Zea mays L) under water stress. Article in Maydica 58:218-223.

Torrion JA, Stougaard RN (2017). Impacts and limits of irrigation water management on wheat yield and quality. Crop Science 57:3239-3251.

Velu G, Guzman C, Mnodal C, Autrique JE, Huerta J, Singh RP (2016). Effect of drought and elevated temperature on grain zinc and iron concentration in CIMMYT spring wheat. Journal of Cereal Science 69:82-186.

Yadavi AR, Saeidi Aboueshaghi R, Movahhedi Dehnavi M, Balouchi H (2014). Effect of micronutrients foliar application on grain qualitative characteristics and some physiological traits of bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) under drought stress Indian Journal of Fundamental and Applied Life Sciences 4:124-131.

Yang N, Wang Z, Gao Y, Zhao H Li K Li F, Malhi SS (2014). Effects of planting soybean in summer fallow on wheat grain yield, total N and Zn in grain and available N and Zn in soil on the Loess Plateau of China. European Journal of Agronomy 58:63-72.

Zaki RN, Radwan TE (2011). Improving wheat grain yield and its quality under salinity conditions at a newly reclaimed soil by using different organic sources as soil or foliar applications. Journal of Applied Sciences Research 7:42-58.

Zand B, Sorooshzadeh A, Ghanati, Moradi F (2009). Effect of zinc and auxin foliar application on grain yield and its components of grain maize under water deficit conditions. Seed and Plant Improvement Journal 25:448-431.

Zandipour E, Ajam norozei H, Bostani A (2018). Effect of zinc and iron foliar application in irrigation water acidity on wheat. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research 16:3097-3112.




How to Cite

MOSAVIAN, S. N., EISVAND, H. R. ., AKBARI, N., MOSHATATI, A., & ISMAILI, A. (2021). Do nitrogen and zinc application alleviate the adverse effect of heat stress on wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)?. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 49(2), 12252.



Research Articles
DOI: 10.15835/nbha49212252