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Effect of Sulphur Fertilization on Grain Quality and Protein Composition of Durum Wheat (Triticum durum Desf.)

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Author(s): Marianna Pompa | Marcella Michela Giuliani | Luigia Giuzio | Anna Gagliardi | Natale Di Fonzo | Zina Flagella

Journal: Italian Journal of Agronomy
ISSN 1125-4718

Volume: 4;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 159;
Date: 2011;
Original page

ABSTRACT
The reduction of atmosphere emission of SO2 and the massive use of fertilizers high in nitrogen and phosphorus resulted in a decrease of the sulphur content in the soil. In durum wheat cultivation, sulphur supply plays a key role not only for plant growth, but also for grain quality. Sulphur is an essential macronutrient primarily used to synthesize methionine and cysteine and it is also involved in establishing protein structures by disulphide bonds. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of sulphur nutrition on grain quality and protein composition of durum wheat cultivars grown under water deficit conditions, typical of Mediterranean areas. To this purpose, in the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 crop seasons a field trial was carried out by comparing two water regimes (irrigated and rainfed), two sulphur fertilizer levels and two durum wheat cultivars. Under our experimental conditions, an increase in protein and gluten content in the rainfed treatment and a positive effect of sulphur fertilization on quality parameters were observed. Few changes were observed in protein composition in response to sulphur fertilization.
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