Nutritional value of hard red spring wheat triticum aestivum grain protein as influenced by fertilization and cultivar

Syltie, P.W.; Dahnke, W.C.; Harrold, R.L.

Agronomy Journal 74(2): 366-371


ISSN/ISBN: 0002-1962
DOI: 10.2134/agronj1982.00021962007400020025x
Accession: 006009363

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Cereal grains often vary sufficiently in protein content or amino acid composition to produce significant growth differences in experimental animals. The influence of fertilization and cultivar on the nutritional value of wheat was studied. Two relatively unrelated hard red spring wheat (T. aestivum L.) cultivars, Era and Waldron, were grown on Heimdal (coarse-loamy, mixed, thermic Udic Haploborolls) soils in eastern North Dakota [USA]. Fertilizer N, P and K were applied in several combinations to determine if differences would occur in grain protein. Sprague-Dawley albino rats were fed vitamin and mineral-fortified grain diets from 11 of the fertility treatments and the 2 cultivars to determine if treatment and cultivar would result in differences in diet consumed, rate of gain, feed per gain, protein efficiency ratio (PER) and protein digestibility coefficient (PDC). With relatively high initial available N, additions of fertilizer N increased grain protein 1.6 percentage units and caused highly significant increases in diet consumed and rate of gain and a decrease in feed per gain; PER and PDC were not affected. With low initial available soil N, fertilizer N increased grain protein by 2.1 percentage units, reduced PER and increased PDC values. Adding micronutrients and S to the soil after planting did not affect PER values but significantly improved PDC values. The fact that the grain from the low N treatments and the low residual N site had low protein contents, but higher nutritive value of the protein, supports the widely acknowledged inverse lysine-protein relationship. Improved protein utilization at lower dietary protein levels may have been a factor in improving PER values.