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Scientists from ICS Reveal the Higher Yield with Lower N2O Emissions of Newly-released Winter Wheat Varieties


The Innovation Team of Farming System and Agro-Ecology, Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences,demonstrated the characteristics and biological mechanisms of high-yieldingwinter wheat varieties withless nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions based on the field experiments.This research has been published in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environmentrecently, which is anotherimportant finding revealed by the team following high-yielding modern rice varieties with lowmethane emissions.

According to the team leader Dr. Weijian Zhang,food security is the primary goal of crop production, while Carbon Peak and Carbon Neutrality are also important partswhich need to be considered in the current and future crop productions of China. Wheat is the second-largest staple food in China and wheat field is also a main emission source of N2O. Meanwhile,N2O is the third most important greenhouse gas (GHG). It is essential to find a synergistic approach to reduce N2O emissions whilemaintaining or increasingcrop yield for achieving food security and GHG mitigation.

The study demonstrates that the morphological and physiological characteristics of wheat have changed greatly with the improvement of winter wheat varieties in China.Newly-releasedwinter wheat varieties generally achieve high productivity and strong root absorption capacity. These characteristics couldincrease theutilization of soil nitrogen by plantsand,consequently,decrease nitrogen availability forN2O emissions. Through multi-specie comparison in the fields, this research also found that grain yield increased by 6.8% per decade, and nitrogen absorption ofwinter wheat increased simultaneously with the variety improvement. In addition, the cumulative and yield-scaled N2O emissionsfrom the winter wheat field decreased by 2.0% and 8.9% per decade, respectively. N2O emissions negatively correlated with crop nitrogen absorption capacity.This research contributes significantly tobuildup basicknowledge for wheat cultivar selection and agronomic management innovation to achieve higher yield and reduce N2O emissions from winter wheatfields.

This work is first-authored by Dr. Huan Chen, who graduated from the Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Dr. Weijian Zhang and Dr. Chengfu Caoare co-corresponding authors. The research was supported by National Key Research and Development Program of the 13th Five-Yearplan and the Science and Technology Innovation Project of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

Reference resource:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167880921002619