Herbicide-Mediated Effects on Soil Microbes, Enzymes and Yield in Direct Sown Rice


An investigation was undertaken to study the response of soil microbes, soil enzymes and yield of wet direct sown rice on application of different herbicide mixtures for controlling weeds. The treatments consisted of nine different combinations of herbicides involving azimsulfuron, bispyribac sodium, flucetosulfuron, penoxsulam, cyhalofop-butyl, fenoxaprop-p-ethyl, ethoxysulfuron, XR-848 benzyl ester, bensulfuron methyl and pretilachlor, with a herbicide check and two controls. Soil enzymes, viz. fluorescein diacetate hydrolase, dehydrogenase, urease, acid and alkaline phosphatase, and population of soil microbes, viz. bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, diazotrophs, phosphate-solubilizing bacteria and Pseudomonas, were studied. Fenoxaprop-p-ethyl + ethoxysulfuron recorded the highest populations (86.07 × 106 cfu/g soil) among all herbicidal treatments at 10 DAHA, while flucetosulfuron + bispyribac sodium recorded the highest population at 30 DAHA (116.40 × 106 cfu/g soil). Also flucetosulfuron + bispyribac registered the highest PSB population (119.40 × 103 cfu/g soil and 178.98 × 103 cfu/g soil) and actinomycetes population (134. 4 × 104 cfu/g soil and 174.97 × 104 cfu/g soil) at both 10 DAHA and 30 DAHA. Application of XR-848 benzyl ester + cyhalofop-butyl and flucetosulfuron + bispyribac sodium recorded the highest soil microbial activity. Among herbicidal treatments, fenoxaprop-p-ethyl + ethoxysulfuron recorded the highest yield of 4.88 t/ha; however, it was at par with penoxsulam + cyhalofop-butyl (4.75 t/ha), azimsulfuron + bispyribac sodium (4.68 t/ha), flucetosulfuron + bispyribac sodium (4.57 t/ha) and bispyribac sodium + ethoxysulfuron (4.46 t/ha). Considering the response of soil microbial activity and the grain yield of rice, flucetosulfuron + bispyribac sodium may be recommended in direct sown rice.

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The authors sincerely acknowledge Director, ICAR-National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack, Odisha-753 006, for providing all the support and facilities during the course of experimentation.

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Sunita Meher carried out the experiment, analysed and interpreted the data; Sanjoy Saha conceptualized and designed the experiment. Nitish Tiwari reviewed the data and interpretation. P. Panneerselvam supervised the laboratory work, provided necessary tools and instruments and analysed data. Sushmita Munda critically revised the article. Ashirbachan Mahapatra drafted the article. Hemant Kumar Jangde reviewed the data and revised the article. All authors approved the final version of the article to be published and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of work.

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Correspondence to Sanjoy Saha.

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Meher, S., Saha, S., Tiwari, N. et al. Herbicide-Mediated Effects on Soil Microbes, Enzymes and Yield in Direct Sown Rice. Agric Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40003-020-00536-6

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  • Herbicide mixtures
  • Soil enzyme
  • Soil microbes
  • Wet direct sown rice