Postgraduate Profiles

Omar Al-Awad

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Thesis: Ammonium toxicity and tolerance in canola genotypes

Ammonium is an important form of nitrogen, which is an essential element. This project aims to characterise ammonium toxicity and tolerance in canola genotypes. Fertilizers, agricultural processes, nitrogen cycling and soil biochemical reactions result in an increase in NH4+ concentration in soil, potentially causing toxicity. Ammonium toxicity is one of the soil problems that can cause a decrease in crop growth, and the majority of crops have poor tolerance to NH4+ toxicity. Canola crop is particularly sensitive to NH4+. Tolerance of a range of canola genotypes to NH4+ toxicity will be investigated in this study by using different NH4+ concentrations. Furthermore, the NH4+:NO3- ratio and the effects of individual N forms will be studied with respect to NH4+ toxicity and improving seed oil content. Soil amendments such as biochar will be tested for a potential to remedy NH4+ toxicity and govern canola tolerance.

Why my research is important

This glasshouse study will characterise tolerance of canola genotypes to ammonium toxicity. It will include detailed assessment of the role of varying NH4+:NO3- ratios and biochar soil amendment in modifying responses of canola genotypes to NH4+ toxicity. In addition, the study will characterise an impact of ammonium toxicity and various amendments on oil quantity and quality in canola genotypes, thus providing new knowledge about the interactions between crop nutrition and quality of edible agricultural products.


Feb 2015

Feb 2019