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Evaluation of selenium uptake rate by cowpea plants for fertilizer recommendation aiming agronomic biofortification

Grant number: 16/22680-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2017
Effective date (End): March 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Soil Science
Principal Investigator:André Rodrigues dos Reis
Grantee:Vanessa Biazotto Brito
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Engenharia. Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Tupã. Tupã , SP, Brazil


There are conclusive evidences of selenium deficiency in Brazilian soils, which can generate selenium deficiency in plants, animals and humans. Therefore, is needed to increase the selenium concentration in edible parts of staple foods for Brazilian diet. As far as we know, there are no selenium application time recommendation for cowpea plants. Northeast of Brazil is the main region showing the highest human undernourish index. In these regions the cowpea is the main staple food and source of protein for the local population. Thus, this study aims to evaluate the selenium uptake rate by cowpea plants to establish the optimal fertilizer application time recommendation aiming agronomic biofortification. In order to evaluate the selenium uptake rate by cowpea plants an experiment will be performed under field conditions. Based on our previous studies on selenium accumulation in cowpea beans, the level of 15 g ha-1 of selenium will be applied on soil using sodium selenate as source. The selenium application will be performed on seven days after seed germination. The BRS Tumucumaque will be used because is the most popular and cultivated cowpea cultivar in Northeast of Brazil. After the fertilizer application, the height of plants, shoot and root biomass, nutrients, ureides will be analyzed weekly. In this study, the effect of selenium on biochemical properties such as aminoacids, proteins, sugars and phytate in the seeds will be also analyzed. The expect result of this study is to identify the best phenological stage of cowpea plants that accumulate high amounts of selenium to establish the appropriate time for application of fertilizer containing selenium. The mechanisms involved in Se accumulation and its traits related to crop response to Se fertilizer can provide a powerful information for further plant breeding and fertilizer management to improve food nutritional quality. (AU)

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