The effect of foliar treatment of winter wheat plants with the microelement complex Avatar-1 created using nanotechnologies, containing chelated with natural carboxylic acids magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, manganese, molybdenum and cobalt, on the flag leaf photosynthetic activity under different soil moisture conditions was studied. The studies were carried out in a pot experiment on two varieties of winter bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), a high-yielding Astarta variety characterized by a long-lasting activity of the photosynthetic apparatus during the grain filling period (stay-green phenotype), and Natalka variety with a high grain protein content. At the heading stage (BBCH 59), the experimental plants were sprayed with a microelement complex. Plants treated with tap water served as a control. Six days after treatment at the beginning of the anthesis stage (BBCH 61), half of the experimental and control plants were exposed to drought (7 days at soil moisture 30 % of field capacity (FC)), the another half remained at an optimum moisture supply of 70 % FC. It was found that drought significantly reduced the net assimilation rate compared with normal irrigation. However, the decrease in photosynthetic activity in plants treated with the microelement complex was less (36 and 33 %) comparing to untreated plants (46 and 52 %) in varieties Astarta and Natalka, respectively. Under moisture deficiency, the photosynthetic rate in plants treated with a microelement complex was higher than in untreated plants – by 22 % for Astarta and 34 % for Natalka. The photorespiration rate in flag leaf, in contrast to photosynthesis, increased significantly under drought conditions. In untreated Astarta variety plants the increase was greater (82 %) compared with plants treated with the microelement complex (39 %), but, on the contrary, in Natalka variety it was less in treated plants (44 %) compared with untreated (96 %). Treatment with a microelement complex increased the PS II photochemical activity in the flag leaf both under optimal and limited moisture supply, mitigating drought damaging effect. The decrease in the PS II maximum quantum efficiency was about 2 % in the treated plants of both varieties and 5 and 12 %, respectively, in the control plants of Astarta and Natalka varieties. It was concluded that foliar treatment of winter wheat plants with a microelement complex, obtained by nanotechnology, significantly increases the photosynthetic apparatus resistance to soil drought, although it does not cause significant changes in the CO2 assimilation rate under optimal moisture supply. Maintaining high level of CO2 assimilation and PS II photochemical activity under drought conditions due to the treatment with microelement complex contributed to an increase in the grain productivity of plants. The positive effect of microfertilizer on grain productivity was more pronounced in the less resistant to drought variety.
Keywords: Triticum aestivum L., CO2 gas exchange, PS II photochemical activity, microelements chelated with carboxylic acids, grain productivity
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