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Effects of supplemental-nitrogen on the quality of rice proteins

Souza, S.R., Stark, E.M.L.M., Fernandes, M.S.
Journal of plant nutrition 1993 v.16 no.9 pp. 1739-1751
foliar spraying, protein synthesis, albumins, seeds, nitrogen, Oryza sativa, glutelins, prolamins, seed set, ammonium compounds, urea, protein content, globulins, nitrates
A study was conducted on the effect of supplemental nitrogen (N) (20 hg/ha) applied as a foliar spray or to the soil on seed production, protein percentage, and protein fractions of rice. Plants were grown in a greenhouse over two different periods of time, i.e., August 1988 to January 1989 (Period I), and December 1988 to April 1989 (Period II). Nitrogen was applied to the leaves 10 and 20 days after anthesis (DAA), and to the soil at anthesis and at 15 DAA. Average temperature was 28.7 degrees C during Period I and 32 degrees C during Period II, corresponding to 18.7 and 22.0 growing degree-day/day (GDD/day), respectively. The difference in GDD/day reduced the plant cycle from 130 days during Period I to 109 days during Period II. Plants grown during Period II had larger numbers of spikelets, a higher percentage of "full grown grains", and higher grain weight. Although percentage crude protein was about the same for the two periods, prolamin content was increased and the albumin+globulin fraction was decreased during Period II, but with no difference in glutelin content. The increase in number of spikelets, percent full grains, and grain weight appeared to result in a greater energy demand for plants grown during Period II. This may explain the increase in prolamins, since prolamin synthesis requires less energy than globulin or albumin synthesis. There was a simultaneous decrease in albumin and globulin synthesis during Period II. The content of glutelins, which represent the major reserve proteins in rice grains, was constant during both periods.