The effects of biochar soil amendment on rice growth may vary greatly with rice genotypes

Minglong Liu, Xianlin Ke, Xiaoyu Liu, Xiaorong Fan, Youzun Xu, Lianqing Li, Zakaria M Solaiman, Genxing Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While plant growth promotion with increased nutrient uptake had been well addressed for biochar soil amendment in agriculture, there was limited knowledge on the variation of such effects with crop genotypes. In a rice field experiment without and with biochar soil amendment at 20 t ha-1, 19 mutants of a rice cultivar Wuyunjing 7 (Oryza sativa L.) were tested for plant growth in split plots respectively. At harvest, the biomass of grain, stem and leaves were measured and soil and plant samples were collected for measuring N, P and K nutrients. Across the 19 mutants, relative change with biochar soil amendment varied in a range of -41.6% to +35.6% for biomass production and agronomic traits, and -87.0% to +117% for nutrient accumulation. For the nutrients content, the relative change for N was seen in a narrow range of -29.4% to +16.6%, being similar among grain, leaf and shoot samples while that for P in a wide range of -109% to +105%. With factor analysis, variation of biomass and nutrient uptake was least explained with biochar effect (up to 7.0%) but largely by genotype effect (mostly by 40-70%). However, the genotype × biochar interaction effect could also explain 10-40% of the total variations though the interaction explained 40-70% of leaf P variation. Therefore, mutant and mutant × biochar interactions dominated the agronomic variation of rice production of the Wuyunjing 7 cultivar. Furthermore, across the traits analyzed, genotype effects were shown very significantly but negatively correlated to biochar effects. In other words, biochar soil amendment provided little growth or nutrient enhancement for those mutants bred for high efficiency. Hence, genotype selection should be considered in optimizing prioritizing biochar application in crop production. Of course, variation of biochar effect with crop genotypes deserved further plant physio-ecological studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number152223
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


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