Effect of N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide on urea metabolism and the assimilation of ammonium by Triticum aestivum L.

Autores: Artola, E.; Cruchaga, S.; Ariz Arnedo, Idoia; Moran, J. F.; Garnica Ochoa, María; Houdusse, F.; García-Mina Freire, José María; Irigoyen, I.; Lasa, B.; Aparicio-Tejo, P.
Título de la revista: PLANT GROWTH REGULATION
ISSN: 0167-6903
Volumen: 63
Número: 1
Páginas: 73 - 79
Fecha de publicación: 2011
The use of urea as an N fertilizer has increased to such an extent that it is now the most widely used fertilizer in the world. However, N losses as a result of ammonia volatilization lead to a decrease in its efficiency, therefore different methods have been developed over the years to reduce these losses. One of the most recent involves the use of urea combined with urease inhibitors, such as N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide (NBPT), in an attempt to delay the hydrolysis of urea in the soil. The aim of this study was to perform an in-depth analysis of the effect that NBPT use has on plant growth and N metabolism. Wheat plants were cultivated in a greenhouse experiment lasting 4 weeks and fertilized with urea and NBPT at different concentrations (0, 0.012, 0.062, 0.125%). Each treatment was replicated six times. A non-fertilized control was also cultivated. Several parameters related with N metabolism were analysed at the end of growth period. NBPT use was found to have visible effects, such as a transitory yellowing of the leaf tips, at the end of the first week of treatment. At a metabolic level, plants treated with the inhibitor were found to have more urea in their tissues and a lower amino acid content, lower glutamine synthetase activity, and lower urease and glutamine synthetase content at the end of the study period, whereas their urease activity seemed to have recovered by this stage.