Nitrate Reductase Activity and Nitrogen and Biomass Accumulation in Sugarcane under Molybdenum and Nitrogen Fertilization
Prior research on sugarcane showed increment of productivity following molybdenum (Mo) fertilization and some indication of the potential role either on nitrate reductase activity (NRA). However, this increment can depend on sugarcane variety and nitrogen (N) fertilization. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of Mo fertilization on Mo uptake, on NRA, nitrate (NO3–-N), and ammonium (NH4+-N) contents in leaves and roots of sugarcane, and the accumulation of N and biomass across two sugarcane varieties (RB 867515 and RB 92579). The varieties were subjected to two rates of N fertilization (without N fertilization and 60 kg ha-1 of N) and two rates of Mo fertilization (without Mo fertilization and 200 g ha-1 of Mo). At 70, 100, 130, 200, and 365 days after planting (DAP), the following parameters were determined: Mo, NO3–-N and NH4+-N contents, NRA in the leaves and roots, and the accumulation of N, as well as shoot dry matter (SDM). Molybdenum fertilization increased N accumulation in 36 and 44 % in the varieties RB 867515 and RB 92579, respectively. This increase in N accumulation was associated with NRA stimulation of 13 % in the leaves and 42 % in the roots. The maximum NRA occurred around 100 DAP, and its contents in the leaves and roots of the RB 92579 were 0.83 and 0.46 µmol NO2– g-1 h-1 of fresh matter, respectively, and in RB 867515 these values were 0.61 and 0.43 µmol NO2– g-1 h-1 of fresh matter, respectively. The assimilation of NO3–-N was increased with Mo application, both with and without N fertilization, suggesting that Mo fertilization is indicated in nutrition management of sugarcane. This study provides insight into how Mo fertilization interacts with N fertilization and sugarcane varieties, altering N accumulation and dry matter production.