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.
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