Enhancing the Quantitative and Qualitative Traits of Wheat Grown with Low Mineral Nitrogen Level through Zeolite, Sorbitol and Copper

Document Type : Original Article


1 assistant prof. of Soil fertility and plant nutrition department, soils, water and environment research institute.(ARC) Giza, EgyptResearch Center, Giza, Egypt

2 agricultural research center

3 Soil, Water and environment Research Institute, Agric. Res. Center, Egypt


This field experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of zeolite amendment and foliar applications of copper, both in normal and nano forms, combined with sorbitol spray on the growth, yield, and grain quality of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) under varying mineral nitrogen doses. The scientific aim was to evaluate the potential of these treatments to improve wheat performance and nutrient use efficiency while reducing nitrogen fertilizer inputs (ammonium sulphate, 20.6 % N). The experiment followed a split-split plot design, with nitrogen fertilizer rates (100% and 80% of the recommended dose, equivalent to 75 and 60 kg N per feddan, respectively) as the main plots, zeolite application ( applied at rate of 1.7 ton fed-1 or not), as the sub-plots, and foliar applications [control (without), copper sulphate (CuSO4.7H2O, 25 % Cu, 20 mg Cu L-1), sorbitol (500 mM L-1), copper oxide Nanoparticles (CuO NPs, 2.0 ng L-1), sorbitol + mineral Cu as combined treatment, sorbitol+ nano Cu as combined treatment) as sub-sub plots. Results showed that higher nitrogen doses generally increased growth parameters, grain yield, and grain quality attributes, but zeolite incorporation significantly enhanced these parameters even at lower nitrogen levels. Additionally, foliar applications of copper, especially in nano form, combined with sorbitol, further improved wheat performance, emphasizing the importance of integrated nutrient management strategies. Notably, the presence of zeolite mitigated the negative effects of reduced nitrogen doses, highlighting its role in enhancing nutrient use efficiency and crop resilience. The most significant findings included increased grain yield, nitrogen content, protein content, and total sugar content in wheat grains with zeolite application and foliar treatments. The interaction effects demonstrated the synergistic benefits of zeolite with foliar applications, particularly in improving nitrogen and protein contents. Also, the obtained results confirmed that zeolite possessed a vital role in improving soil fertility via raising the soil content of NPK as well as water holding capacity (WHC). Overall, the study underscores the potential of zeolite and foliar applications as effective tools for optimizing wheat production while reducing environmental impacts associated with excessive nitrogen fertilization. It is recommended to further explore these treatments under diverse agro-climatic conditions and crop systems to validate their efficacy and scalability. Additionally, future research should focus on elucidating the mechanisms underlying the observed improvements in nutrient uptake, utilization efficiency, and crop performance to optimize their application strategies for sustainable agriculture.


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