Journal of Environmental Protection, 2010, 1, 261-263
doi:10.4236/jep.2010.13031 Published Online September 2010 (
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JEP
Bioefficacy and Residue Studies of Fantac
(Biostimulant) in Rice Crop under Sub-Tropical
Anjana Srivastava1, Gunjan Bhatia1, Renuka Pant1, Prakash Chandra Srivastava2
1Depatment of Chemistry, G.B.Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, India; 2Depatment of Soil Science,
G.B.Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, India.
Received April 12th, 2010; revised May 13th, 2010; accepted May 15th, 2010.
Field investigations were conducted for three seasons from July 2006-2007 to test the efficacy of Fantac (N-ATCA) in
transplanted rice and also determine its harvest time residues in paddy grain, straw, husk and soil by HPLC. It was
applied at the rate of 25, 50, 75 and 100 mL/100 L respectively. The results revealed that foliar spray of this agro-
chemical on rice crop did not produce any significant effect on the general growth parameters but increased the num-
ber of grains/panicle. The residues of fantac were found to be < 0.05 μg/g at the time of harvest which are below MRL
and thus Fantac can be considered as environmentally safe.
Keywords: Fantac, Biostmulant, Harvest, Residues, HPLC
1. Introduction
Biostimulants are referred to as positive plant growth
regulators or metabolic enhancers which when applied in
small quantities enhance the growth and overall devel-
opment of plants. One such biostimulant is Fantac, a
mixture of 5% N-Acetyl thiazolidine carboxylic acid
(N-ATCA) and 0.1% folic acid has been recently intro-
duced by Coromandel Fertilizers, Secunderabad, India
for attaining higher values of yield attributes in rice. It is
a stabilizer buffer which on application to plants helps
them to sustain stresses more effectively and enhance
crop yields both in quality and quantity [1-3]. It also
produces specific effects on the physiological processes
of plants [4].
Though biostimulants serve to be very effective in
plant growth and enhancing crop yield, but since soil acts
as an ultimate sink for all the chemicals applied on it,
therefore even slightly higher concentrations of any
chemical can harm the next crop in rotation or may also
leach down to contaminate ground water resources.
Recommendations for the use of agrochemicals on a crop
cannot be made until its residue studies have been carried
out [5]. Hence a detailed study was therefore conducted
to evaluate the effect of Fantac on rice and also estimate
the harvest time residues of this biostimulant in paddy
(grain, straw, husk) and soil with a view to ensure human
and environmental safety.
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Procurement of Chemicals
The technical grade Fantac (99.9% purity) was obtained
from M/S Coromandel Fertilizers Pvt. Ltd., Secundera-
bad, India. All the other reagents and chemicals were
procured from Merck, India Ltd.
2.2. Field Experiment
Bioefficacy field trials were conducted for three seasons
during the year 2006-2007 on rice (cv. Pant Dhan-4) in
randomised block design at Crop Research Centre, G.B.
Pant University, Pantnagar with three replications and
five treatments including untreated control. The crop was
was sowed in 6 m × 6 m plot in June 2006 and the trans-
planting was done after 30 days of sowing. Application
of Fantac at the rate of 25, 50, 75 and 100 mL/100 L wa-
ter was done using a knapsack sprayer at tillering stage
(Ist application), panicle initation stage (2nd application)
and 15 days after the second application (last applica-
Bioefficacy and Residue Studies of Fantac (Biostimulant) in Rice Crop under Sub-Tropical Conditions
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JEP
The observations for the plant height, tillers per plant,
panicle length, grains per panicle, grain and straw yield
were taken. The phytotoxicity of fantac was also deter-
mined as per CIB guidelines on 0-10 scale, by comparing
the toxicity symptoms on fifty days old plants from the
treated and untreated plots.
For residue studies the samples of paddy grain, straw,
husk and soil treated with Fantac at the rate of 75 and
100 mL/100 L water were collected from each plot at the
time of harvest and extracted for its residues.
2.3. Extraction and Cleanup
Paddy samples: The well ground rice grain, chopped
straw and husk samples (50 g each) in triplicate were
extracted twice with methanol and filtered. The com-
bined filterate was partitioned with isooctane and 0.01%
t-butanol in dichloromethane mixture. The aqueous phase
was extracted twice and passed through anhydrous so-
dium sulfate to remove any traces of water. The organic
layer was concentrated in a Rotavapor and the residue
was dissolved in methanol: acetonitrile mixture (1:1).
The dissolved residue was cleaned up by column chro-
matography using activated silica gel as an adsorbent.
The column was eluted with acetonitrile: methanol mix-
ture (1:1) and again evaporated to dryness followed by
reconstitution of the residue in the mobile phase.
Soil: Soil samples were air dried and sieved through a
2 mm sieve. Representative samples (50 g) were ex-
tracted twice with methanol and filtered. The combined
filterate was subjected to liquid partitioning with isooc-
tane and 0.01% t-butanol in dichloromethane mixture
and then cleaned up by passing through a column packed
with silica gel. The column eluent was dried and dis-
solved in the mobile phase for HPLC analysis.
Recovery studies: Recovery studies were also per-
formed by spiking all the samples with two levels of for-
tification of Fantac (0.05 μgg-1 and 0.5 μgg-1) and adopt-
ing the same procedure as discussed above in order to
validate the efficiency of the method of the analytical
method. The samples were extracted and cleaned up fol-
lowing the procedure described in preceding section.
2.4. Residue Analysis
A Water’s HPLC system with varying wavelength de-
tector was used for chromatographic analysis. The oper-
ating parameters were column: C-18, mobile phase ace-
tonitrile sodium dihydrogen orthophosphate buffer (6:94
v/v), pH 2.5 in isocratic mode at a flow rate of 1.0
mL/min. and detection at 210 nm.
3. Results and Discussion
No phytotoxic symptoms necrosis, epinasty, hyponasty,
leaf tip injury, leaf surface injury, wilting and vein clear-
ing were observed in any of the treated plots even for 10
d after the foliar spray of this chemical. The pooled data
on the effect of Fantac and other growth promoters on
growth, yield attributes and grain and straw yields of rice
(var. PD-4) are presented in Ta ble 1 . It is clearly evident
from the data that foliar spray of this agrochemical on
rice crop did not have any significant effect on the gen-
eral growth parameters like plant height and number of
tillers/plant. The yield attribute like the average panicle
length was also not significantly influenced by the foliar
sprays of this chemical. However, foliar spray of Fantac
at the rate of 25, 50 and 75 mL/100 L water increased the
number of grains/panicle by 4.8, 6.2 and 6.6 percent over
control, respectively but Fantac at the rate of 50 and 100
mL/100 L water decreased the number of chaffy grains/
panicle significantly by 8.1 and 13.6 percent over control,
respectively. As regards the grain yield of rice, foliar
spray of fantac at the rate of 25, 50, 75 and 100 mL/100
L water increased it significantly by 11.3, 17.3, 16.6 and
16.2 percent over control, respectively. Fantac alone or in
combination with trace element mixture has been re-
ported for the highest grain/seed yields in wheat [6]. In
case of fruits, Fantac has been reported to enhance the
photosynthetic activity and produce a significant increase
in yield and size of apples [7]. Dubravec has reported an
increase in the cluster number and yield of grapevine [8].
In strawberries too, an increase in the berry weight and
yield has been reported [9]. The straw yield of rice in this
experiment was however not significantly influenced by
different treatments.
Recovery studies were done by fortifying known
amount of Fantac standards and estimation of the resi-
dues left, as per the method outlined earlier. The percent
recovery values of Fantac from all the samples were
found to be 90.2 to 92.0 percent at higher fortification
rate and 82.6 to 85.0 percent at lower rate of fortification,
respectively. Standard deviation associated with the de-
terminations ranged from 2.6 to 4.8% and the LOQ and
LOD values for fantac were 0.05 and 0.02 μgg-1 respec-
tively. The study revealed that the mean recovery per-
centages were 87.0 for soil, 90.8 for paddy grain and
92.0 for rice straw respectively, which indicates that the
method adopted for estimation of Fantac is quite suitable
for extraction.
The fantac residues were also estimated in the har-
vested samples of paddy grain, straw and soil (Table 2).
The fate and behavior of Fantac in soil has also been ob-
served and since it is easily degraded by microorganisms
in the soil its half life is very short [10,11]. The residue
levels in the present study at harvest time were 0.05 μgg-1
which is below the toxicity level in all i.e. paddy grain,
straw and soil. Hence it can be considered safe both for
Bioefficacy and Residue Studies of Fantac (Biostimulant) in Rice Crop under Sub-Tropical Conditions
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JEP
Table 1. Effect of foliar spray of growth promoters on growth parameters and yield of rice (pooled data of three season).
Treatments* Plant height
(cm) Tillers/
plants Panicle length
(cm) Grain/
panicle Chaffy gain/
panicle Grain yi e ld
(q/h) Straw yield
T1 80.2 11.3 24.7 112 12 50.78 67.08
T2 80.4 11.5 23.7 114 11 53.54 63.09
T3 79.8 11.5 23.7 114 12 53.22 63.20
T4 79.4 12.2 23.3 111 10 53.04 66.32
T5 79.3 11.5 24.2 107 13 45.63 61.87
S.Em. 0.7 0.3 0.4 1.8 0.8 1.06 1.44
CD (p = 0.05) NS NS NS 5 2 3.02 NS
C.V. (%) 3.6 8.81 4.31 4.8 19.06 6.16 6.69
*(T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5 are treatments of Fantac @ 25, 50, 75, 100 and 0 mL/100 L of water)
Table 2. Harvest time residues of Fantac in rice.
Treatment Rice grain Rice straw Soil
Fantac @
75 mL/100 L BDL BDL BDL
Fantac @
100 mL/100 L
BDL: Below detection limit (< 0.05 ppm)
the present as well as the succeeding crop.
4. Conclusions
It can be concluded from the present investigation that
the growth promoter, Fantac helped in better seed setting
which resulted in higher grain yields of rice. The simple
extraction and clean up procedure developed for Fantac
analysis in paddy grain, straw and soil was found to yield
good recovery of the biostimulant and it is safe from en-
vironmental and health point of view as its residues do
not persist both in crop and soil at the harvest time.
5. Acknowledgements
The authors are thankful to M/s Coromandel fertilizers,
Secunderabad, India, for providing financial assistance to
carry out the above studies.
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