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Phosphorus seed coating and soaking for improving seedling growth of Oryza sativa (rice) cv IR66

Ros, C., Bell, R.W.ORCID: 0000-0002-7756-3755 and White, P.F. (2000) Phosphorus seed coating and soaking for improving seedling growth of Oryza sativa (rice) cv IR66. Seed Science and Technology, 28 (2). pp. 391-401.


In view of the large influence which phosphorus (P) can have on early seedling growth and the fact that many rice growing soils are P deficient, appropriate methods of P application to enhance the efficient use of P fertilizer for early plant growth need to be investigated. The objective of the study was to determine the effect of coating and of soaking rice (Oryza sativa) seed with various P fertilizers at increasing concentrations, on early plant growth. Treatments comprised: control; seed coated with single superphosphate (SSP), rock phosphate (RP), monoammonium phosphate (MAP) and potassium phosphate (PP); and seeds soaked in three levels of KH2PO4 (PP), or NaH2PO4.2H2O (SP) solutions (5, 10, 20% w/v), each with three replicates. Amounts of P applied to the seeds by coating or soaking were as follows (mg P seed-1): Control, 0; Coating-SSP, 3.8; Coating-RP, 1.2; Coating-MAP, 3.4; Coating-PP, 3.7; Soaking-PP (5-20%), 0.05-0.17; Soaking-SP (5-20%), 0.05-0.21. Seedling emergence was depressed by 40-60% when seeds were coated with SSP, MAP or PP or soaked in PP or SP solutions. By contrast, seed coating with RP did not affect final emergence compared to the untreated control although it delayed seedling emergence by 2-3 days. At 20 and 40 days after sowing (DAS), soaking in P solutions had no significant effect on plant growth. At 20 DAS, coating increased shoot dry weight but decreased root dry weight of plants. The effect of coating treatments persisted to 40 DAS and at this stage, seed coating increased root length and dry weight and increased shoot dry weight by 400-870%. Although plant growth responded to coating seeds with SSP, MAP or PP, these seed treatments initially depressed seed emergence and may therefore not be acceptable to farmers. Coating rice seeds with RP may be more promising for stimulating early rice growth on low P soils. Rock phosphate when applied at 1.2 mg P per seed or 0.5 kg RP per kg of seed was not harmful to final seedling emergence but quadrupled shoot and root growth of rice.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: International Seed Testing Association
Copyright: 2000 International seed Testing Association
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