Magnesium sulfate regulates anthocyanin accumulation in rice

Researchers from Thailand’s National Science and Technology Development Agency noted that treating rice (Oryza sativa L. subsp. indica) with magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) regulate its anthocyanin content. The team published their results in the Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science.

  • Studies have reported that pericarp-pigmented rice grains are good sources of antioxidants.
  • The team looked at methods to improve anthocyanin accumulation in pericarp-pigmented rice grains.
  • For the study, the team used the Hom Nil rice cultivar (O. sativa L. subsp. indica ‘Hom Nil’), which they treated with a foliar spray at 0, 10, 50, and 100 millimolar of magnesium sulfate (mM MgSO4).
  • After two days, leaf tissues treated with 100 MgSO4 had 2.6 more magnesium than control.
  • The samples were then grown under 16 C for 28 days. Researchers observed that the plants exhibited reduced photosynthetic ability (from 17 to 93 percent), which led to retarded plant height (from 39 to 42 percent less than control).
  • Grain yield per panicle was also reduced by between 26 to 75 percent compared to plants in the control group, which were grown under 32 C.
  • Upon examination of the pericarp, the team found elevated levels of magnesium (3.8 times more than control) in plants treated with 100 MgSO4 and peonidin-3-glucoside was reported for the first time.

In sum, the researchers found that enriching rice with magnesium sulfate can effectively stabilize anthocyanin levels in Hom Nil rice cultivars.

Learn more about other ways to naturally fortify crops at

Journal Reference:

Tisarum R, Theerawitaya C, Samphumphuang T, Cha-Um S. REGULATION OF ANTHOCYANIN ACCUMULATION IN RICE (ORYZA SATIVA L. SUBSP. INDICA) USING MGSO4 SPRAYING AND LOW TEMPERATURE. Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science. 14 March 2018;64(12):1663–1677. DOI: 10.1080/03650340.2018.1450501

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