ZINC APPLICATION IMPROVES PRODUCTIVITY AND BIOFORTIFICATION OF MINI CORE RICE HYBRIDS
Nuclear Institute of Agriculture, Tandojam, Pakistan
Keywords:biofortification, food security, hidden hunger, micronutrient, nutrition
Zinc (Zn) is essentially required by plants and humans for proper growth and development but its widespread deficiency has become a global concern. In this study we evaluated the role of Zn in improving rice productivity, Zn concentration and bioavailability. Zn was applied as basal dose of ZnSO4.H2O (10 kg Zn ha-1) to ten rice genotypes. Application of Zn increased average grain yield, grain Zn concentration and uptake by the factor of 1.08, 2.48 and 2.47, respectively. Average Phytate to Zn ratio of tested genotypes was significantly decreased by 57%. Estimated Zn bioavailability to human from rice was also increased. Highest recorded Zn bioavailability was 4.27 mg/300g/day. Average Zn bioavailability of genotypes improved by the factor of 2.06. In conclusion, agronomic Zn biofortification of rice can be an easy, adaptable and short term approach to increase crop yield, Zn concentration and bioavailability.