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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 24 No. 5, p. 986-992
     
    Received: Aug 10, 1994


    * Corresponding author(s): malit@iastate.edu
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doi:10.2134/jeq1995.00472425002400050030x

Biotechnology By-Products as Sources of Nitrogen for Plants

  1. B. Zhu,
  2. M. A. Tabatabai * and
  3. S. J. Henning
  1. Dep. of Agronomy, Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA 50011.

Abstract

Abstract

Recent developments in the biotechnology industries have resulted in production of large quantities of by-products with potential uses as soil amendments and as sources of nutrients for plant growth and development. Many of these by-products contain significant concentrations of organic and inorganic N that can be used by plants. This study evaluated, under greenhouse conditions, seven by-products produced by four biotechnology industries in Iowa for their N-supplying potentials to plants, and the results were compared with a conventional N fertilizer, urea-ammonium nitrate (UAN). Corn (Zea mays L.) was grown on three Iowa surface soils treated at eight rates of N ranging from 0 to 500 mg of total N pot−1 (1 kg of soil) and harvested after 34 d. Results showed that both dry matter and N yield increased with increasing the rate of N in the by-products applied to soil. Dry matter and N yield responses were similar among the three soils, but differed greatly among the by-products studied. The by-products FSL and FSG were superior N sources. Significant increases in dry matter and N yields were obtained by application of SMB, SS, Mycel, and HSOM. Among the seven by-products studied, PC was a poor N source for corn. The by-product HSOM was very acidic, and FSL and FSG contained high concentrations of NH+4. Addition of these by-products to soils decreased the soil pH with increasing application rate. Results showed that some biotechnology by-products are potential sources of N for plants and are useful as soil amendments.

Journal Paper no. J-15967 of the Iowa Agric. and Home Econ. Exp. Stn., Ames. Projects 2710, 3022, and 3047. This work was partly supported by the Biotechnology By-products Consortium of Iowa.

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