Sulphur as a fertiliser component determining crop yield and quality
Skwierawska M., Benedycka Z., Jankowski K., Skwierawski
The aim of this paper was to review 100 years of Polish studies on sulphur fertilisation and its effects on the growth and development of plants, the chemical composition and impact of sulphur compounds on the health of plants, and its fungicidal activity. In the reviewed studies sulphur deficiency generally delayed vegetative growth, caused the dying out of the growth cone, yellow discolouration of the generative and vegetative organs and delayed maturation. Observations of plants have demonstrated that sulphur is essential for normal photosynthetic functions. Plants suffering from a lack or shortage of sulphur had pale green or yellowish, narrow, short and small leaves, and a smaller than normal root system, which was associated with reduced chlorophyll synthesis. The availability of sulphur was found to enatil an improved uptake of nitrogen by plants, thus affecting their quality and optimising the N:S ratio. Fertilisation with sulphur increased the total content of sulphur and sulphates in plants. Findings from studies on the effect of sulphur on the content of macroelements in tested plants are inconclusive. Sulphur used in excess disturbed the ionic balance in plants and indirectly affected the intensity and level of uptake of other nutrients. The results of studies investigating the impact of sulphur on changes in the content of heavy metals were ambiguous and demonstrated either synergistic or antagonistic interactions. Generally, sulphur fertilisation increased the content of glucosinolates in plants and improved their nutritional value. Most studies also showed that sulphur fertilisation improved the disease resistance of plants. Some studies have also demonstrated an increased content of glucosinolates in plants fertilised with sulphur, which stimulated natural resistance to fungal infections.
Skwierawska M., Benedycka Z., Jankowski K., Skwierawski A. 2016. Sulphur as a fertiliser component determining crop yield and quality. J. Elem., 21(2): 609 - 623, DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2015.20.3.992
sulphur, crop quality, macroelements, microelements, organic compounds