Zinc Isotope Constraints on Zinc Availability in Soil-Crop System combating Zinc Deficieny

Lead PI: Kathrin Schilling

Unit Affiliation: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

January 2020 - December 2021
Asia ; India
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: Zinc (Zn) deficiency due to insufficient Zn intake affects 1/3 of the world's population (Wessells and Brown, 2012). The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that Zn deficiency results in 800,000 early deaths every year with 450,000 of these being children. By 2050, an additional 138 million people is estimated to suffer from Zn deficiency due to the reduction of global availability of Zn (Myers et al., 2015). Therefore, there is an urgent need to find sustainable ways to combat Zn deficiency in humans which is strongly correlated to dietary Zn intake from crops grown on Zn deficient soils. The proposed research uses a multidisciplinary approach combining stable isotope geochemistry, plant physiology, soil science and ecology to identify low-resource strategies for mitigation of Zn deficiency in soil-crop system. We will fill the critical void in knowledge about processes determining the Zn availability in soils and Zn uptake and storage in the world's major cereals, rice, millet, and sorghum.