Hybridspecific nutrient interactions and their role in maize yield quality
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Different fertilization levels can be used according to the intensity of the plant production technology. The interactions among all the essential nutrients, the different ways of antagonisms and synergisms can weaken or strengthen the physiological processes of the plants, affecting significantly the efficiency of the production. Complex mineral profile of the vegetative (stalk, leaves) at V2, V4, V8, VT and R6 stages in 4 replications and generative (grain, cob -R6 stage only) plant parts of maize were determined in accredited laboratory with ICP-MS, ICP-OES microwave-assisted multielement analysis for metal components (P, K, mg, Ca, S, Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, Ni, Mo) and Dumas method for nitrogen. Results showed that the effect of different nitrogen fertilization levels was significant on grain yield, protein, oil and moisture content. Significant differences were measured between the different maize genotypes in grain yield, protein and starch content. In the experiment all essential nutrient concentrations were measured, and the important nutrient ratios of macro- and micronutrients for the physiological development of maize were calculated. These nutrient stoichiometric ratios were evaluated according to their scale of influence in the yield formation. It can be concluded that different nitrogen fertilization levels affected significantly the essential nutrient ratios of the vegetative and generative plant parts of three maize hybrids in the growth period. Although different variables of nutrient stoichiometric ratios and yield parameters did not highly correlated, Pearson’s correlations suggest that K:Mg and K:Zn ratio of stalk would be related with grain yield (R = 0.32; 0.34; 0.39 and 0.35; 0.37; 0.30, respectively) marking them as important parameters for novel nutrient stoichiometry research. Analysing the optimal nutrient ratios related to the yield quality and their interaction with the fertilization practices can give certain recommendations to the farmers to implement hybrid- and site-specific nutrient management strategies, reducing the environmental impact of the over-fertilization.