Rapid, Micro-Methods to Estimate Plant Silicon Content by Dilute Hydrofluoric Acid Extraction and Spectrometric Molybdenum Method

I. Silicon in Rice Plants and Molybdenum Yellow Method



By treating 0.5 g DW of a plant sample directly with 10 ml of a dilute hydrofluoric acid solution (HF solution, 1.5 M HF—0.6 M HCl), all the silica in plant (as much as 150 mg SiO2) was dissolved within 1 h. After dilution of the extract with 40 mL of distilled water, the silica in the extract was measured by the spectrometric molybdenum yellow method. The molybdenum yellow method, in which silica in 0.1 mL of the diluted extract can be determined in 8 min, is well suited to rapid, micro-estimations of the silica content in plants. In the micro-modification, the size of the plant sample was reduced to 100 mg DW. The analytical procedure was simple, and the analytical time was less than 2 h. The method can save much labor and time, compared with the gravimetric analysis. The dissolution with HF solution and the molybdenum yellow method were also applied to the measurement of the content of silica separated by acid digestion of rice plants. Excellent agreement in the silica measurement of rice plants was confirmed among the direct extraction method, the gravimetric method and the digestion-separation-dissolution method. In the molybdenum yellow method, the addition of boric acid enabled to mask the interference of hydrofluoric acid, and the least amount of citric acid required for the elimination of phosphorus interference was proposed. In conclusion in this report, recommended methods for the rapid estimation of the silica content in rice plants were presented.