Silica Nanoparticles for Increased Silica Availability in Maize (Zea mays. L) Seeds Under Hydroponic Conditions
A study on the uptake of silica source by maize seeds was conducted under hydroponic conditions and pot experiments supplemented
with nano-SiO2 (20–40 nm) extracted from natural source (rice husk) and their bulk silica counterparts such as micro-SiO2,
sodium silicate, and silicic acid. Employing hydroponic incubation experiment to explore the nanosilica absorption is a novel approach in
maize. Seeds after different silica source treatments were analyzed with regard to germination percentage (GP %), elemental analysis, and
root growth parameters to investigate the efficiency of nano-SiO2. Hydroponic culture studies revealed an increase in GP (95.5%), dry
weight (6.52±0.2), silica accumulation (18.2%), and better nutrient alleviation in seeds exposed to nano-SiO2 than in those exposed to
bulk sources. Variations in the pH, conductivity and SiO2 content in the hydroponic solution reflect the utilization of silica by seeds.
Maize seeds and roots during pot experiments absorbed nano-SiO2 better when compared with absorption of other micron sources, which
led to the conclusion that nano-SiO2 can be used as an immediately utilizable source for plants.
Keywords: Nano-SiO2, micro-SiO2, hydroponic incubation, maize seed, silica utilization
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