Silicon sources for studies of rice plants in nutrient solutions
The objective of this work was to evaluate the effects of various Si sources currently used in studies of Si doses in nutrient solutions on dry matter yield and the accumulation of nutrients and Si in rice plants. Treatments of rice plants with three sources of Si (monossilicic acid, sodium metasilicate, potassium metasilicate) and a treatment without Si were allocated in a randomized block design with ten replications. After 39 days in the nutrient solution, the following traits were evaluated: leaf area, leaf specific mass, dry matter yield of roots and shoots, and levels of K, Na, and Si in leaves and roots. Si increased leaf area, leaf specific mass, and dry matter yield of shoots and roots regardless of the Si source. Levels of Si in leaves and roots were significantly higher in relation to the control treatment but no significant difference among Si sources was identified. It was also observed that K and Na were adequately balanced across the treatments. Thus, a cheaper and easier to obtain Si source, such as sodium metasilicate and potassium metasilicate, may be chosen to carry out studies of Si additions to nutrient solutions.