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Application of Zinc, Iron and Boron Enhances Productivity and Grain Biofortification of Mungbean

Muhammad Zafar1, Siraj Ahmed1, Muhammad Kashif Munir1, Nawal Zafar1, Muhammad Saqib1, Muhammad Aleem Sarwar2, Saba Iqbal1, Baber Ali3, Naveed Akhtar1, Basharat Ali4,*, Sadam Hussain5,*, Muhammad Saeed6, Mohammad Khalid Al-Sadoon7, Aneela Gulnaz8

1 Agronomic Research Institute, Ayub Agricultural Research Institute Faisalabad, Faisalabad, 38000, Pakistan
2 Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Ayub Agricultural Research Institute Faisalabad, Faisalabad, 38000, Pakistan
3 Department of Plant Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, 45320, Pakistan
4 Department of Agricultural Engineering, Khwaja Fareed University of Engineering and Technology, Rahim Yar Khan, 64200, Pakistan
5 College of Agronomy, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, 712100, China
6 Plant Pathology Research Institute, Faisalabad, 38000, Pakistan
7 Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia
8 Department of Biotechnology, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan, 38641, Korea

* Corresponding Authors: Basharat Ali. Email: ; Sadam Hussain. Email:

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Physiological and Molecular Interventions in Improving Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Plants)

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2023, 92(4), 983-999.


Deficiencies of essential vitamins, iron (Fe), and zinc (Zn) affect over one-half of the world’s population. A significant progress has been made to control micronutrient deficiencies through supplementation, but new approaches are needed, especially to reach the rural poor. Agronomic biofortification of pulses with Zn, Fe, and boron (B) offers a pragmatic solution to combat hidden hunger instead of food fortification and supplementation. Moreover, it also has positive effects on crop production as well. Therefore, we conducted three separate field experiments for two consecutive years to evaluate the impact of soil and foliar application of the aforementioned nutrients on the yield and seed biofortification of mungbean. Soil application of Zn at 0, 4.125, 8.25, Fe at 0, 2.5, 5.0 and B at 0, 0.55, 1.1 kg ha−1 was done in the first, second and third experiment, respectively. Foliar application in these experiments was done at 0.3% Zn, 0.2% Fe and 0.1% B respectively one week after flowering initiation. Data revealed that soil-applied Zn, Fe and B at 8.25, 5.0 and 1.1 kg ha−1, respectively, enhanced the grain yield of mungbean; however, this increase in yield was statistically similar to that recorded with Zn, Fe and B at 4.125, 2.5 and 0.55 kg ha−1, respectively. Foliar application of these nutrients at flower initiation significantly enhanced the Zn contents by 28% and 31%, Fe contents by 80% and 78%, while B contents by 98% and 116% over control during 2019 and 2020, respectively. It was concluded from the results that soil application of Zn, Fe, and B enhanced the yield performance of mungbean; while significant improvements in seed Zn, Fe, and B contents were recorded with foliar application of these nutrients.


Cite This Article

Zafar, M., Ahmed, S., Munir, M. K., Zafar, N., Saqib, M. et al. (2023). Application of Zinc, Iron and Boron Enhances Productivity and Grain Biofortification of Mungbean. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 92(4), 983–999.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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