International Journal of Current Research and Review (IJCRR)

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IJCRR - Vol 08 Issue 22, November

Pages: 13-17

Date of Publication: 30-Nov--0001

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Author: C. Ravikumar, M. Ganapathy, V. Vaiyapuri

Category: General Sciences

Abstract:Aim: The present investigation was carried out to evaluate the response and fix an optimize source and levels of S for sunflower production.
Materials and Methods: Field experiments were conducted in the Experimental Farm of the Department of Agronomy, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar during March - June and June - September 2014 in RBD to study the response of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) var. K-1 to different sources and levels of sulphur (Elemental sulphur, Gypsum and Pyrite for their growth, yield attributes, and yield.
Result: Among the different treatments Elemental Sulphur @ 45 kg ha-1 along with RDF (40:20:20 kg ha-1) had a positive effect on growth, yield attributes, yield and nutrient uptake in sunflower for I and II crops. The lowest values of growth, yield attributes and yield were recorded by 0 kg S ha-1 along with RDF.
Conclusion: Application of sulphur especially through Elemental sulphur @ 45 kg ha-1 along with RDF (40:20:20 kg ha-1) is a fitting practice for augmenting sunflower yields in clay loam regions of Cuddalore district sunflower farmers.

Keywords: Sulphur Levels, Growth, Yield, Sunflower, Nutrient uptake

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Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is one of the most important oilseed crops containing high quality edible oil. It is easy to cultivate and grown in different conditions and soils [Kaya MD and Kolsarici O (2011)]. Sunflower oil has excellent nutritional properties, and has a relatively high concentration of linoleic acid [Seiler GJ (2007)]. Oilseeds and their derivatives vegetable oil and meal are in demand globally, and there is a need to identify and quantify the key issues for their production by different stakeholders to develop and support actions that will ensure a viable future of such crops (Muhammad Farhan et al., 2013). In oil seeds sulphur plays a vital role in the development of seed and improving the quality (Naser et al., 2012). Sulphur is increasingly being recognized as the fourth major plant nutrient after nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (Tandon and messick, 2002). Sulphur plays a predominant role in improving the grain quality of sunflower crop and also the use efficiency of nitrogen and phosphorus. Sulphur helps in the synthesis of cystein, methionine, chlorophyll, vitamins (B, biotin and thiamine), metabolism of carbohydrates, oil content, protein content and also associated with growth and metabolism, especially by its effect on the protolytic enzymes (Najar et al., 2011). Sulphur deficiency was observed in different states of India. Eighty eight out of four hundred odd districts were identified as sulphur deficient with varying degrees (Tandon, 1986). Sulphur deficiency have been reported 70 countries worldwide, of which India is one, Tamilnadu is one of the agriculturally important states with very little data  on soil sulphur status. It has been found that 80 percent of the samples obtained from 15 bench mark clay soil in Cuddalore district were reported to be ‘S’ deficient (Balasubramanian et al.,1990). Consequently, the yield of oilseed crops, especially sunflower, is severely affected due to S deficiency. Response of crops to other nutrients also becomes less and less because of the marginally low level of S in these soils. In addition, the disproportionately greater use of nitrogen (N) and P in comparison to S has widened the N–S and P–S ratios (Manickam and Vijayachandran, 1985). Hence the present investigation was carried out to evaluate the response and fix an optimize levels of S for sunflower production.

Materials and methods

In order to study the different sources of sulphur at varying levels on the quantitative and qualitative characters of sunflower. The experiment was conducted at Annamalainagar experimental farm, Tamilnadu, India during March to June and June to September on 2014. The experimental site of the study is geographically located at 110 24’N latitude, 79 0 44’E longitude and an altitude of +5.79 m of above mean sea level. Soil was analysed for their physical and chemical properties. A composite soil sample was collected at a depth of 0-30 cm. It was air dried, crushed, and tested for physical and chemical properties. The soil was clay loam in texture with soil reaction of (pH 7.7), electrical conductivity 0.49 dS m-1, organic matter (0.96%), low available nitrogen (256.5kg.ha-1), available phosphorus (20.6 Kg ha-1), and low available sulphur (17.8 kg.ha-1). The experimental design was carried out in a randomized block design with arrangement of treatments in three replications. Experimental plots consist of three sulphur sources (Elemental sulphur, Gypsum and iron pyrite), levels (15, 30, 45 kg.ha-1) and control i.e., recommended N, P and K (40:20:20 kg. ha -1) alone. The plots were prepared with dimension of 5 m × 3 m and seeds of variety K1 were sown with a spacing of 30×30 cm. At 4-5 leaf stage plants were thinned to appropriate density. Weeds were controlled manually at 5-leaf stage, stem elongation and flowering stage to maintain a uniform plant population. Irrigation were given uniformly and regularly to all plots as per requirement so as to prevent the crop from water stress at any stage. The crop was completely harvested at physiological maturity stage and their biometric observations such as seed number.cap-1, 1000 seed weight, seed yield, biological yield and oil yield were recorded. Oil percentage was calculated using a commercial Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer (NMRS) method. Oil yield was obtained by following formula: 

Oil yield = Oil percentage × seed yield /100.

Chlorophyll assay

The total chlorophyll content of leaves was determined by using 80 % acetone extraction suggested by Arnon (1949). About 250 mg of fresh leaf material from each plot was taken and crushed thoroughly with 80% acetone. A homogeneous paste was made and filtered through Whatman No.1 filter paper. Made up the volume with 80 % acetone 25 ml. Since the extract is subjected to evaporation and photooxidation. The optical activity or density of chlorophyll ‘a’ and ‘b’ recorded at 645 nm and 663 nm wave length respectively and chlorophyll a and b were calculated using the formula.

Chlorophyll a = 20.2 × O.D value at 645 nm × 100 /1000 mg.g-1 

Chlorophyll b = 8.02 × O.D value at 663 nm × 100 /1000 mg.g-1 

Total chlorophyll content = chlorophyll a + chlorophyll b.

Biometric observations were obtained by selecting five representative sample plants from each plot at random the growth characters (plant height, number of leaves, leaf area index and DMP)  yield components (Capitulum diameter, number of seeds.capitulum-1, number of filled seeds and seed yield in the experiments were recorded at 30 (vegetative stage), 45 (flowering stage) DAS and at harvest. Post harvest soil samples were taken from each treatment at 0-15 cm depth and the samples were dried and passed through a 2mm sieve and available N, P, K and S obtained by using appropriate methods.

Statistical analysis

The experimental data were statistically analysed as suggested by Gomez and Gomez (1976). For significant results the critical difference was worked out at 5 per cent level.


Growth attributes

Statistically analysed results showed that the effect of different sources and levels of sulphur application significantly influenced all experiment traits except 1000 seed weight. Among the different levels of sulphur, the highest plant height (144.80 cm and 146.73 cm) was noticed with application of elemental sulphur @ 45 kg ha-1 along with RDF (40:20:20 kg ha-1) at harvest which was followed by gypsum and iron pyrite in two seasons. Application of sulphur significantly increase the plant height in sunflower (Intodia and Tomar, 1997). Similar results have been reported by Zeiny et al., (1998) and Legha and Gajendra Giri (1999). The similar trend was recorded in LAI (4.26 and 4.49) at flowering stage, DMP (4027.00 and 4134.00 kg   ha-1) at harvest stage, CGR (16.02 and 16.09), RGR (0.0762 and 0.0765) at flowering stage and total chlorophyll content (1.642) in both the seasons.  The lowest values for growth attributes were recorded in the plots which received 0 kg S ha-1 in both seasons.

Yield attributes

Sulphur levels and sources significantly influenced the yield components and yield in both the crops. Among the different sources and levels of suphur through elemental sulphur @ 45 kg ha-1 along with RDF (40:20:20 kg ha-1) obtained maximum capitulum diameter (16.92 cm and 17.22 cm), number of filled seeds capitulum-1 (695.00 and 705.00), seed yield 1060.00 and 1072.00 kg ha-1), oil content (38.53% and 38.51%) and crude protein content (16.35% and 16.39%) followed by gypsum and iron pyrite in both seasons.

Crop Nutrient Uptake

 The crop nutrient uptake increased with in levels of sulphur application and the values were significant between the sources, Elemental sulphur @ 45 kg ha-1 along with RDF (40:20:20 kg ha-1) recorded highest uptake (82.16 and 85.80, 14.94 and14.97, 113.63 and 113.80 and 11.68 and 12.00 kg ha-1) followed by gypsum and iron pyrite of N, P, K and S respectively in both   seasons and among the sources. Yadav and Singh (1970) opined that the synergistic relationship of S with N, P, K, Ca and Mg in plants and hence increment in S levels in soil increase the uptake of nutrients by the crop. Among all sources tried, Elemental sulphur resulted in the highest nutrient uptake at all levels.


In present series of study the increase in growth attributes might be due to more synthesis of aminoacids, increase in chlorophyll content in growing region and improving the photosynthetic activity, ultimately enhancing cell division resulted in an increment in plant height, higher LAI and DMP. This was evidenced through the studies of Intodia and Tomar (1997) and Raja et al. (2007).

 Sulphur application resulted in significance increase in LAI, chlorophyll pigments, CGR, RGR, capitulum diameter and 100 seed weight. Obviously these have jointly contributed and increased the yield potential of the crop as reflected by the higher seed yield. Such a response to increasing levels of ‘S’ might be ascribed to adequate supply of nutrients resulted in high production of photosynthates and their translocation to sink ( Tomar et al., 1997). Further the properties of elemental sulphur reveals that when it is applied to the soil, absorbs moisture and disintegrates into fine and coarse particles. The finer particles oxidise rapidly and coarser particles slowly which might have supplied sufficient sulphur to the soil pool throughout the growth period of sunflower and resulted in higher seed yield than other sources like gypsum and iron pyrite respectively. Apart from that application of sulphur helps in conversion of carbohydrates into oil. In fatty acid synthesis, acetyl co-A is converted into malonyl co-A. In this conversion an enzyme thiokinase is involved, the activity of which depends upon sulphur supply. Moreover, acetyl co-A itself contains suphur and sulphadryl group (Sreemannarayana et al., 1998). The results in line with the earlier findings of Ajabsingh  yadav and Harishankar (1980), Tripathi and sharma (1995) and Tamak et al .,(1997). Crude protein content was increased with the increment of sulphur levels. Sulphur nutrition provides disulphide group of cross linking of two polypeptide chains in protein formation (Allway and Thompson, 1996). Similar findings were reported by yadav and singh (1970), Das et al., (1994) and Jadav and Shelke (1994). 

 In the present study a synergistic effect of sulphur on phosphorus was recorded. This might be due to solublization of phosphorus by sulphur. Jaggi and Dixit (1996) reported, all sorts of interactions viz., positive, neutral and negative between phosphorus and sulphur. The increase in S uptake with increasing rates of sulphur seems to be associated with increased availability of S from applied sulphur with a concomitant increase in crop yield. Decrease in S content of the mature crop might be attributed to the translocation of the absorbed S to the growing part, especially to seed (Tandon, 1990). The higher uptake of sulphur in seeds indicated its requirement in the synthesis of lipids and proteins for qualitative improvement in sunflower (Narender Reddy et al., 1996).         


In the light of the above study, it may be concluded that application of sulphur especially through Elemental sulphur @ 45 kg.ha-1 combined with RDF (40:20:20 kg ha-1) is a fitting practice for augmenting  sunflower yields in clay loam regions of cuddalore district sunflower farmers.


Authors wish to acknowledge the immense help received from the scholars whose articles are cited and included in the refer­ences of this manuscript. The authors are also grateful to authors /editor/publishers of all those articles, journals and books from where the literature for this article has been re­viewed and discussed. Authors wish to acknowledge the Annamalai University for the conduct of experimental trial.



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