Micronutrients are part of many crucial physiological plant
processes. The combined application of N and micronutrients
helps in obtaining grain yield with beneficial technological
and consumer properties. The main micronutrients needed
by cereals include Cu, Mn, and Zn. The subject of this study
was to determine yield, quality indicators (protein content
and composition, gluten content, grain bulk density, Zeleny
sedimentation index, and grain hardness), as well as mineral
content (Cu, Zn, Mn, Fe) in winter wheat grain ( Triticum aestivum
L.) fertilized by foliar micronutrient application.
A field experiment was carried out at the Educational
and Experimental Station in Tomaszkowo, Poland. The
application of mineral fertilizers (NPK) supplemented with
Cu increased Cu content (13.0%) and ω, α/β, and γ (18.7%,
4.9%, and 3.4%, respectively) gliadins in wheat grain.
Foliar Zn fertilization combined with NPK increased Cu
content (14.9%) as well as high (HMW) and low molecular
weight (LMW) glutenins (38.8% and 6.7%, respectively).
Zinc fertilization significantly reduced monomeric gliadin
content and increased polymeric glutenin content in grain,
which contributed in reducing the gliadin:glutenin ratio
(0.77). Mineral fertilizers supplemented with Mn increased
Fe content in wheat grain (14.3%). It also significantly
increased protein (3.8%) and gluten (4.4%) content, Zeleny
sedimentation index (12.4%), and grain hardness (18.5%).
Foliar Mn fertilization increased the content of ω, α/β, and
γ gliadin fractions (19.9%, 9.5%, and 2.1%, respectively),
as well as HMW and LMW glutenins (18.9% and 4.5%,
respectively). Mineral NPK fertilization, combined with
micronutrients (Cu + Zn + Mn), increased Cu and Zn
content in grain (22.6% and 17.7%, respectively). The
content of ω, α/β, and γ gliadins increased (20.3%, 10.5%,
and 12.1%, respectively) as well as HMW glutenins (7.9%).