Maize (Zea mays L.) and wheat [Triticum aestivum (L.) emend. Fiori & Paol] is the third and second most important cereal crop of India, respectively. Maize–wheat system is the third dominant cropping system of India covering 1.8 mha with 2.3% contribution in food grain production (Jat et al., 2013).
Interactions between nutrients in plants occur when the supply of one nutrient affects the absorption, distribution and functions of another nutrient. Generally P and Zn interact negatively, which depends upon a number of physico-chemical properties of soil. Antagonistic P×Zn interaction has been subject of intensive research in several countries and has been thoroughly reviewed. Although some positive interactions of P and Zn are also reported (Shivay, 2013).
The maximum available P and Zn content in the soil was recorded with super-optimal dose (150% NPK) and optimal dose (100% NPK) along with Zn, respectively (Verma et al., 2012). Zinc and P application has antagonistic effect on each other with respect to their concentration and absorption by wheat and maize (Verma and Minhas, 1987). The three Bacillus aryabhattai strains (MDSR7, MDSR11 and MDSR14) were consistent in enhancement of root and shoot dry weight and zinc uptake in wheat (Ramesh et al., 2014).
Management of P×Zn interaction is a challenging task in the era of sustainable food and nutritional security. Use of efficient varieties and application of inorganic P and Zn fertilizer in conjunction with bio-inoculants can increase the crop yield and efficiency of added fertilizers to save precious input.
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