Application of slow-controlled release fertilizer coordinates the carbon flow in carbon-nitrogen metabolism to effect rice quality

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Application of slow-controlled release fertilizer coordinates the carbon flow in carbon-nitrogen metabolism to effect rice quality

Authors

Jiang, Z.; Chen, Q.; Liu, D.; Tao, W.; Gao, S.; Li, J.; Lin, C.; Zhu, M.; Ding, Y.; Li, W.; Li, G.; Sakr, S.; Hong, X.

Abstract

Slow-controlled release fertilizers are experiencing a popularity in rice cultivation due to their effectiveness in yield and quality with low environmental costs. However, the underlying mechanism by which these fertilizers regulate grain quality remains inadequately understood. This study investigated the effects of five fertilizer management practices on rice quality in a two-year field experiment: CK, conventional fertilization, and four applications of slow-controlled release fertilizer (UF, urea formaldehyde; SCU, sulfur-coated urea; PCU, polymer-coated urea; BBF, controlled-release bulk blending fertilizer). In 2020 and 2021, the yields of UF and SCU groups showed significant decreases when compared to conventional fertilization, accompanied by a decline in nutritional quality. Additionally, PCU group exhibited poorer cooking and eating qualities. However, BBF group achieved increases in both yield (10.8 t hm-2 and 11.0 t hm-2) and grain quality reaching the level of CK group. The sufficient nitrogen supply in both the PCU and BBF groups during the grain-filling stage led to a greater capacity for the accumulation of proteins and amino acids in the PCU group compared to starch accumulation. Intriguingly, BBF group showed better carbon-nitrogen metabolism than that of PCU group. The optimal nitrogen supply present in BBF group suitable boosted the synthesis of amino acids involved in the glycolysis/ tricarboxylic acid cycle, thereby effectively coordinating carbon-nitrogen metabolism. The application of the new slow-controlled release fertilizer, BBF, is advantageous in regulating the carbon flow in the carbon-nitrogen metabolism to enhance rice quality.

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