Effect of Silica-Based Nanomaterials on Seed Germination and Seedling Growth of Rice (Oryza sativa L.)
The application of nanomaterials (NMs) in agriculture has become a global concern in recent years. However, studies on their effects on plants are still limited. Here, we conducted a seed germination experiment for 5 days and a hydroponics experiment for 14 days to study the effects of silicon dioxide NMs(nSiO2) and silicon carbide NMs(nSiC) (0,10, 50, 200 mg/L) on rice (Oryza sativa L.). Bulk SiO2 (bSiO2) and sodium silicate (Na2SiO3) were used as controls. The results showed that nSiO2 and nSiC increased the shoot length (11&ndash;37%, 6&ndash;25%) and root length (17&ndash;87%, 59&ndash;207%) of germinating seeds, respectively, compared with the control. Similarly, inter-root exposure to nSiO2, bSiO2, and nSiC improved the activity of aboveground catalase (10&ndash;55%, 31&ndash;34%, and 13&ndash;51%) and increased the content of trace elements magnesium, copper, and zinc, thus promoting the photosynthesis of rice. However, Na2SiO3 at a concentration of 200 mg/L reduced the aboveground and root biomass of rice by 27&ndash;51% and 4&ndash;17%, respectively. This may be because excess silicon not only inhibited the activity of root antioxidant enzymes but also disrupted the balance of mineral elements. This finding provides a new basis for the effect of silica-based NMs promotion on seed germination and rice growth.