Zinc seed coating improves the growth, grain yield and grain biofortification of bread wheat

Abdul Rehman*, Muhammad Farooq

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


This study, comprising three independent experiments, was conducted to optimize the zinc (Zn) application through seed coating for improving the productivity and grain biofortification of wheat. Experiment 1 was conducted in petri plates, while experiment 2 was conducted in sand-filled pots to optimize the Zn seed coating using two sources (ZnSO4, ZnCl2) of Zn. In the first two experiments, seeds of two wheat cultivars Lasani-2008 and Faisalabad-2008 were coated with 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1.00, 1.25, 1.50, 1.75 and 2.00 g Zn kg−1 seed using ZnSO4 and ZnCl2 as Zn sources. The results of experiment I revealed that seed coating with 1.25 and 1.50 g Zn kg−1 seed using both sources of Zn improved the seedling emergence. However, seed coated with 1.25 and 1.50 g Zn kg−1 seed using ZnSO4 was better regarding improvement in seedling growth and seedling dry weight. The results of the second experiment indicated that seed coated with 1.25 and 1.50 g Zn kg−1 seed using ZnSO4 improved the seedling emergence and seedling growth of tested wheat cultivars. However, seed coating beyond 1.5 g Zn kg−1 seed using either Zn source suppressed the seedling emergence. Third experiment was carried out in glass house in soil-filled earthen pots. Seeds of both wheat cultivars were coated with pre-optimized treatments (1.25, 1.50 g Zn kg−1 seed) using both Zn sources. Seed coating with all treatments of ZnSO4 and seed coating with 1.25 g Zn kg−1 seed using ZnCl2 improved the seedling emergence and yield-related traits of wheat cultivars. Seed coating with 1.25 g Zn kg−1 seed also improved the chlorophyll a and b contents. Maximum straw Zn contents, before and after anthesis, were recorded from seed coated with 1.5 g Zn kg−1 seed using either Zn source. Increase in grain yield from seed coating followed the sequence 1.25 g Zn kg−1 seed (ZnSO4) >1.25 g Zn kg−1 seed (ZnCl2) >1.5 g Zn kg−1 seed (ZnSO4). However, increase in grain Zn contents from seed coated was 1.5 g Zn kg−1 seed (ZnCl2) >1.25 and 1.5 g Zn kg−1 seed (ZnCl2, ZnSO4) >1.25 g Zn kg−1 seed (ZnSO4). Seed coating with Zn increased the grain Zn contents from 21 to 35 %, while 33–55 % improvement in grain yield was recorded. In conclusion, wheat seeds may be coated with 1.25 g Zn kg−1 seed using either source of Zn for improving the grain yield and grain Zn biofortification.

Original languageEnglish
Article number238
JournalActa Physiologiae Plantarum
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Biofortification
  • Chlorophyll
  • Seed coating
  • Wheat
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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