Multi-element uptake and growth responses of Rice (Oryza sativa L.) to TiO2 nanoparticles applied in different textured soils

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The aim of present work was to evaluate the effects of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) on rice's growth (Oryza sativa L.) and nutrient availability under different soil textures. Greenhouse experiment was carried out with three soil textures (sandy loam, silt loam and silty clay loam) and two concentrations of TiO2 NPs (500, 750 mg kg(-1)). Control (without TiO2 NPs) was also maintained for the comparison. Growth parameters including chlorophyll content, root/shoot length, fresh/dry biomass and nutrients' uptake including calcium (Ca), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), magnesium (Mg), phosphorous (P), potassium (K) and zinc (Zn) were determined. The results revealed that application of 500 mg kg(-1) TiO2 NPs in silty clay loam soil increased the chlorophyll content (3.3folds), root length (49%), shoot length (31%), root and shoot biomass (41% & 39%, respectively) as compared to other soil textures. The maximum plant growth was observed in silty clay loam > silt loam > sandy loam. Concentration of Cu, Fe, P and Zn in shoot was increased by 8-, 2.3-, 0.4-, 0.05- folds in silty clay loam upon 500 mg kg(-1) TiO2 NPs application as compared to the control. Backward selection method to model the parameters (nutrients in soil) for the response variables (root/shoot length and biomass) showed that Ca, Fe, P are the main nutrients responsible for the increase in plant length and biomass. Overall, the growth of rice was better in silty clay loam at 500 mg kg(-1) of TiO2 NPs.