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Nitrogen cycling in root associated soils at bolting, flowering and seed pod filling across eight diverse Brassica napus (canola) genotypes




Williams, S.
Vail, S.
Helgason, B.
Siciliano, S.D.
Arcand, M.

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Nitrogen (N) mineralization and nitrification can be used predict the amount of N that is available to crops. Brassica napus L. (canola) production is N intensive; therefore, to improve and sustain yields, a better understanding of N cycling patterns for fertilization application is needed. The objective of this study is to examine N cycling after urea fertilization at the three major canola growth stages: bolting, flowering and seed pod filling; and how N cycling may differ between diverse canola lines grown in different soil types. Eight diverse B. napus lines were grown on Dark Brown Chernozemic soil and Black Chernozemic soil in Saskatchewan, Canada. Root-associated soils were collected from each line at bolting, flowering and seed pod filling, and this soil was analyzed for potential nitrification and mineralization, as well as soil nitrate and ammonium content. We predict that potential nitrification will be higher during the bolting and flowering stages of canola growth because the urea fertilizer that was applied to the field would have been converted to nitrate-N, which is plant available. We predict that potential mineralization will be higher during flowering and seed pod filling, because the demand for N to make protein-rich seeds is high enough to deplete much of the inorganic fertilizer N. We also predict that both nitrate-N and ammonium-N will decrease over the growing season, with significant differences between the canola lines and the soil environments. Mixed effect analyses and ANOVA will be used to analyze N cycling in the soil in relation to soil type differences, canola line differences, and growth stage differences. By characterizing soil N processes, this research will advance efforts to understand and improve N uptake for B. napus lines.










Part Of

Soils and Crops Workshop