Uptake of seed-applied copper by maize and the effects on seed vigor






Seed treatment is a low-cost and efficacious method to deliver a diversity of compounds to field crops. This study evaluated the uptake of seed-applied Cu by maize and the effect on seed vigor. The treatments were composed of a control (untreated seeds) and five dosages of Cu: 0.11, 0.22, 0.44, 0.88 and 1.76 mg Cu seed–1, applied as cuprous oxide and copper oxychloride formulations. Seedling emergence and the speed of seedling emergence were determined in three periods: 1, 60 and 120 days after Cu application. Evaluations of root and shoot dry mass, Cu tissue concentration and efficiencies of Cu uptake and incorporation were conducted with two-leaf stage maize plants. Seed-applied Cu reduces the speed of maize seedling emergence, while the final emergence percentage is not affected. Shoot dry mass tends to increase with the application of Cu, while there is no interference on root dry mass within the dosages tested. Cu tissue concentration of both roots and shoots increases as higher dosages of Cu are applied to seeds, with higher accumulation in roots. Cuprous oxide promotes higher uptake of Cu by maize roots compared to copper oxychloride.

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