© 2018 Ramírez-Olvera et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Cerium (Ce) belongs to the rare earth elements (REEs), and although it is not essential for plants, it can stimulate growth and other physiological processes. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effect of Ce on seed germination, initial seedling growth, and vegetative growth in rice (Oryza sativa L.) cv. Morelos A-98. During the germination process, the seeds were treated with Ce concentrations of 0, 4, 8, and 12 μM; after 5 d, germination percentage was recorded and after 10 d seedling growth was measured. For vegetative growth, a hydroponic system was established where 14-d-old plants without previous Ce treatment were transferred into nutrient solution. After two weeks of acclimatizing, 0, 25, 50, and 100 μM Ce were added to the nutrient solution for 28 d. Ce significantly increased germination and the initial growth variables of the seedlings. During vegetative growth, Ce increased plant height, number of tillers, root volume, and shoot fresh and dry biomass, without affecting root biomass weight. With low Ce concentrations (25 and 50 μM), the concentrations of chlorophylls and amino acids in the shoots were similar to those in the control, like amino acid concentration in the roots at a concentration of 25 μM Ce. Conversely, the concentration of total sugars increased in the shoot with the application of 25, 50, and 100 μM Ce, and in the roots with the application of 50 μM Ce. Also, Ce did not affect the concentration of macro or micronutrients in the shoots. However, in the roots, the high Ce concentration decreased the concentrations of Ca, Fe, Mn, and Zn, while the Mg concentration increased. Our results indicate that Ce, at the right concentrations, can function as a biostimulant in rice germination and growth.
Ramírez-Olvera, S. M., Trejo-Téllez, L. I., García-Morales, S., Pérez-Sato, J. A., & Gómez-Merino, F. C. (2018). Cerium enhances germination and shoot growth, and alters mineral nutrient concentration in rice. PLoS ONE. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0194691