Effect of micronutrients on the growth of wheat in sodic soils

Plant accelerator

Examine how micronutrient interactions alter the growth and ion concentrations of wheat in sodic soils

Micronutrients are needed in trace amounts for the optimal growth and development of wheat. The critical concentration range for micronutrients is narrow – too little or too much of a micronutrient can cause deficiency and toxicity to occur respectively.

We recently identified a link between two micronutrients based on the analysis of leaf ion concentrations in wheat growing in sodic soils. This project will investigate the association between the two micronutrients and will involve hydroponics experiments testing several wheat lines in various concentrations and combinations of the two micronutrients in high pH conditions.

The aim is to determine if there is any interaction between the two micronutrients and whether they alter the growth and ion concentrations of wheat in sodic soils. This information will assist with the development of wheat lines with improved tolerance to sodicity.

You will develop skills in:

  • Plant phenotyping – plant growth, leaf and root ion concentration analysis
  • Greenhouse and growth chamber experimentation – hydroponics
  • Molecular biology, genotyping and/or gene expression, molecular markers (if desired)
  • Experimental design and data analysis

Key References:

McDonald, G. K., Taylor, J. D., Verbyla, A., and Kuchel, H. (2013): Assessing the importance of subsoil constraints to yield of wheat and its implications for yield improvement. Crop and Pasture Science 63, 1043-1065.

Dr Rhiannon Schilling


Dr Rhiannon Schilling

Co supervisorsAssociate Professor Glenn McDonald

Research area: Farming systems

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Agricultural Science

Tagged in Honours projects - Agricultural science, Honours projects - Rhiannon Schilling, Honours projects - Glenn McDonald, Honours projects - Plant science, Honours projects - Soil science