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Phenotyping of Different Italian Durum Wheat Varieties in Early Growth Stage With the Addition of Pure or Digestate-Activated Biochars

TitlePhenotyping of Different Italian Durum Wheat Varieties in Early Growth Stage With the Addition of Pure or Digestate-Activated Biochars
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsLatini, A., Fiorani F., Galeffi Patrizia, Cantale C., Bevivino Annamaria, and Jablonowski N.D.
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Date PublishedAug-12-2022

This study aims to highlight the major effects of biochar incorporation into potting soil substrate on plant growth and performance in early growth stages of five elite Italian varieties of durum wheat (Triticum durum). The biochars used were obtained from two contrasting feedstocks, namely wood chips and wheat straw, by gasification under high temperature conditions, and were applied in a greenhouse experiment either as pure or as nutrient-activated biochar obtained by incubation with digestate. The results of the experiment showed that specific genotypes as well as different treatments with biochar have significant effects on plant response when looking at shoot traits related to growth. The evaluated genotypes could be clustered in two main distinct groups presenting, respectively, significantly increasing (Duilio, Iride, and Saragolla varieties) and decreasing (Marco Aurelio and Grecale varieties) values of projected shoot system area (PSSA), fresh weight (FW), dry weight (DW), and plant water loss by evapotranspiration (ET). All these traits were correlated with Pearson correlation coefficients ranging from 0.74 to 0.98. Concerning the treatment effect, a significant alteration of the mentioned plant traits was observed when applying biochar from wheat straw, characterized by very high electrical conductivity (EC), resulting in a reduction of 34.6% PSSA, 43.2% FW, 66.9% DW, and 36.0% ET, when compared to the control. Interestingly, the application of the same biochar after nutrient spiking with digestate determined about a 15–30% relief from the abovementioned reduction induced by the application of the sole pure wheat straw biochar. Our results reinforce the current basic knowledge available on biological soil amendments as biochar and digestate. Copyright © 2021 Latini, Fiorani, Galeffi, Cantale, Bevivino and Jablonowski.


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Short TitleFront. Plant Sci.
Citation KeyLatini2021