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Crop Science Abstract - Review & Interpretation

Grain Nitrogen Source Changes over Time in Maize: A Review


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 53 No. 2, p. 366-377
    unlockOPEN ACCESS
    Received: July 21, 2012
    Published: February 6, 2013

    * Corresponding author(s): Ignacio@Ciampitti.com
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  1. Ignacio A. Ciampitti * and
  2. Tony J. Vyn *
  1. Agronomy Dep., Purdue Univ., 915 W. State St., West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054


Understanding the sources of grain N uptake (Grain N) in maize (Zea mays L.) and especially the trade-off between reproductive-stage shoot N remobilization (Remobilized N) and reproductive-stage whole-plant N uptake (Reproductive N) is needed to help guide future improvements in yield and N use efficiency (NUE). Therefore, a literature review was performed to investigate the knowledge gap concerning changes over time in Grain N sources and on N partitioning to the grain and stover plant fractions at maturity. The synthesis–analysis was based on 100 reports, which were divided into two time intervals: (i) research conducted from 1940 to 1990—“Old Era”—and (ii) research conducted from 1991 to 2011—“New Era.” The most remarkable results were (i) Grain N concentration was the main parameter that has changed over time, (ii) Reproductive N contributed proportionally more to Grain N for the New Era while Reproductive N and Remobilized N contributed equally to Grain N for the Old Era, (iii) Remobilized N was primarily associated with vegetative-stage whole-plant N uptake (Vegetative N), which was constant across eras, although the proportion of the Remobilized N itself seems to be driven by the ear demand, (iv) complex plant regulation processes (source:sink) appeared to influence Reproductive N, and (v) stover N concentration gains mirrored the grain N concentration as the plant N uptake increased at maturity in both eras. This new appreciation for the changes over time may assist directed selection for yield and NUE improvements.

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