Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 14, pp 12971–12981 | Cite as

Water-saving technologies affect the grain characteristics and recovery of fine-grain rice cultivars in semi-arid environment

Research Article

Abstract

Growing rice with less water is direly needed due to declining water sources worldwide, but using methods that require less water inputs can have an impact on grain characteristics and recovery. A 2-year field study was conducted to evaluate the impact of conventionally sown flooded rice and low-water-input rice systems on the grain characteristics and recovery of fine rice. Three fine grain rice cultivars—Super Basmati, Basmati 2000, and Shaheen Basmati—were grown under conventional flooded transplanted rice (CFTR), alternate wetting and drying (AWD), and aerobic rice systems. Grain characteristics and rice recovery were significantly influenced by different water regimes (production systems). Poor milling, including the lowest percentage of brown (head) rice (65.3%) and polished (white) rice (64.2–66.9%) and the highest percentage of broken brown rice (10.2%), husk (24.5%–26.3%), polished broken rice (24.7%), and bran (11.0–12.5%), were recorded in the aerobic rice system sown with Shaheen Basmati. With a few exceptions, cultivars sown in CFTR were found to possess a higher percentage of brown (head) and polished (white) rice and they had incurred the least losses in the form of brown broken rice, husk, polished broken rice, and bran. In conclusion, better grain quality and recovery of rice can be attained by growing Super Basmati under the CFTR system. Growing Shaheen Basmati under low-water-input systems, the aerobic rice system in particular, resulted in poor grain characteristics tied with less rice recovery.

Keywords

Rice Grain characteristics Production systems Fine-grain rice cultivars and semi-arid environment 

Introduction

Rice grains serve as food for humans while rice straw is fed to animals. Rice has a critical role in ensuring global food security. As the most important food crop of Asia, annual production of rice reaches to more than 600 million tons (FAO 2013; Chauhan et al. 2017). Rice possesses a prominent place in the agriculture and food culture of the world (Fahad et al. 2015a; Fahad et al. 2016a, b, c, d; Jabran et al. 2016). The long-grain aromatic basmati rice cultivars possess a special significance in South Asia owing to their excellent quality and grain characteristics (Bhattacharjee et al. 2002; Giraud 2013; Awan et al. 2017). Basmati rice has an important contribution to the foreign exchange of South Asia (Pakistan and India) due to its higher demand in the world market as compared with other types of rice (Calingacion et al. 2014).

Irrigated lands (79 m ha) produce more than 75% of the total rice grown in the world. Water requirements of rice are two to three times higher than the other cereal crops (Bouman et al. 2007). The conventional culture of growing rice involves nursery transplanting in puddled-flooded fields (Thakur et al. 2011; Liu et al. 2015; Nie et al. 2014). However, there has been a sever water scarcity in many parts of the world owing to climate change, growing population, industrial uses of water, and continuous exploitation of water resources (Farooq et al. 2009a; Sarkar 2011; Laghari et al. 2012; Fahad et al. 2014a; Noman et al. 2017; Saud et al. 2013, 2014, 2016). This water shortage has particularly impacted the production and sustainability of rice, being a crop grown with high water input.

Under water-limited environments, cultivation of rice with low water inputs has been suggested as alternative to conventional rice production (Calzadilla et al. 2011; Kumar and Ladha 2011; Chauhan et al. 2012; Chauhan and Mahajan 2014; Liu et al. 2015). Rice-growing methods requiring less water input than conventional systems are under investigation throughout the world. Alternate wetting and drying (AWD) is one such system (Tan et al. 2014; Lampayan et al. 2015). Here, rice is transplanted as in conventional systems, but water inputs are kept nearly 40% lower (Rejesus et al. 2011). Aerobic (dry direct-seeded) rice has gained significant attention throughout the rice-growing areas of the world (Bouman et al. 2007; Jabran et al. 2015a, 2015b, c; Liu et al. 2015). Lower water and labor inputs are required to grow aerobic rice than the conventionally transplanted rice (Tuong et al. 2005; Bouman et al. 2007; Liu et al. 2015). However, a moisture stress under water-limited environments can negatively impact the yield, cooking quality, and characteristics of grains (Gunaratne et al. 2011).

Grain characteristics (including milling and cooking properties) have a role in deciding the demand and price of rice (Fahad et al. 2016a). In a rice industry, paddy with high milling yield is preferred. Milling yield of rice is evaluated in terms of presence of chalky, immature, abortive, opaque, discolored, damaged, and diseased grains. The rice grains of fine varieties, such as Super Basmati, Basmati 2000, and Shaheen Basmati with crystalline white content, are considered with good milling and cooking properties (i.e., proper grain separation, good volume expansion ratio, and excellent aroma). Milling yield and cooking properties such as length, length-width ratio, volume expansion ratio, separation of grains, aroma, bursting, and curling properties after cooking are the major contributory factors toward acceptability and the value of rice (Fahad et al. 2016a). Other than genetics, the milling and cooking qualities of rice are also influenced by environmental factors such as soil properties, annual rainfall, average temperature, harvesting method, and water regime (puddling, aerobic conditions, etc.) (Zhao and Fitzgerald 2013).

Super Basmati, Basmati 2000, and Shaheen Basmati are among the most popular and top basmati cultivars in Pakistan. Basmati rice provides a livelihood to farmers through export of its grains in several parts of the world. Rice recovery after the husking and polishing is important from the exporters’ perspective. Furthermore, grain length is a very important attribute that can attract consumers. Several studies report the growth and yield response of rice when grown under water-saving conditions (Jabran et al. 2015a, 2015b). However, the effect of water-saving rice cultivation on grain and quality characters of rice has been rarely described. Similarly, the recovery and grain characteristics of basmati rice cultivars after the shift to water-saving rice systems, such as AWD and aerobic rice systems, have not been assessed previously. Hence, we conducted this research in order to assess the recovery and grain characteristics of fine basmati rice cultivars under water-saving conditions. Moreover, these parameters (recovery and grain characteristics) were compared for the rice grown either under transplanted flooded conditions, AWD, or aerobic conditions.

Materials and methods

Experimental site

A 2-year (2008 and 2009) study was conducted at the Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF), Pakistan (73.44°E longitude, 31.5°N latitude; altitude of 135 m above sea level). The experimental area had a uniform fertility status with a semi-arid climate. Analytical work was completed in the UAF Agro-Biology Laboratory and at Khawaja Foods, Gujranwala, Pakistan. Weather data were collected from the metrological weather station of the Crop Physiology Department of the same university.

Treatments

The three rice production systems included in the study were the conventionally flooded transplanted rice (CFTR) system, AWD, and an aerobic rice system. The three cultivars used in the experiment were Super Basmati, Basmati 2000, and Shaheen Basmati. These cultivars were used for the experimentation owing to their popularity among the farming community which results from their market demand, long grains, and good cooking quality (Marie-Vivien 2008; Giraud 2013). The CFTR system was maintained following the methods used by most rice farmers; a layer of water was maintained through the major part of crop duration (Thakur et al. 2013; Jabran et al. 2015a, 2015b). Alternate wetting and drying was maintained according to Yao et al. (2012), while the aerobic rice system was maintained according to Jabran et al. (2012, 2015a, 2015b). In CFTR, the rice seedlings are transplanted (mostly manually or mechanically in a few countries) in a puddled field possessing a layer of water (Jabran et al. 2015a, 2015b). In AWD, the rice fields are flooded and then allowed to dry by withholding irrigation in order to avoid continuous flooding for the sake of saving water (Yao et al. 2012). Moisture content in AWD and aerobic rice systems were monitored using the gravimetric method. For this, uniform soil samples were collected from each system at almost 1-week interval and weighed to record weight of moist soil. After that, soil samples were dried in an oven at 105 °C up to constant weight to record dry soil weight. Weight of dry soil was deducted from moist soil weight to note weight of moisture, and then, moisture contents were determined by dividing moisture weight with dry soil weight and expressed in percentage. Moreover, saturation percentage of soil was calculated before sowing and 50% of saturation percentage was assumed as 100% field capacity. In the AWD system, irrigation (100 mm) was applied when soil moisture content dropped to ∼80% of field capacity, whereas the aerobic rice system was irrigated (75 mm) when soil moisture content dropped to ∼50%. A field capacity of ∼50% was set as criteria to irrigate the aerobic rice as the rice crop may receive a drought stress if soil moisture drops this level (Farooq et al. 2009b; Farooq et al. 2010).

Experimental details

The experiment was laid out in a split-plot design with cultivation systems in main plots and cultivars in the subplots. The whole experiment was replicated three times with a net subplot size of 2.2 × 8.0 m.

Agronomic management

A pre-soak irrigation with 10-cm-deep water was applied in the field and the seedbed was prepared by cultivating the field three times using a cultivator, followed by planking. All three rice cultivars included in the study were sown under aerobic conditions, direct seeded, on June 26, 2008 and July 02, 2009, while a nursery of these cultivars was also sown on the same date; 30-day-old seedlings of all three cultivars were then transplanted under CFTR and AWD. All other agronomic practices for fertilization, weed control, plant protection, etc., were kept constant. Heading stage was achieved starting from the last week of September until first week of first week of October in each study year.

Observations recorded

A wooden box with a light source at the bottom and a square glass (0.25 m2) on the upper side was used to observe changes in characteristics and physical appearance of the grains. Twenty-five randomly selected panicles from the primary tillers of each experimental unit were spread on the glass in such a way that the light fell on the panicles after passing through the glass. Then, sterile spikelets (without grains), opaque grains (non-transparent, undersized), abortive grains (undersized grain), chalky grains, and normal grains (translucent, normal grains) were counted and the percentage was determined (data on sterile spikelets not shown).

Paddy samples (1 kg) were taken randomly from the seed lot of each experimental unit, and grain characteristics and milling recovery were evaluated at Khawaja Foods (Pvt.) Ltd., Gujranwala-Pakistan. Paddy samples from each subplot were obtained and grain characteristics parameters were recorded following protocols described by Cruz and Khush (2000). The samples obtained from paddy fields after threshing were cleaned carefully to get rid of any extraneous object. Moreover, a moisture meter was used to ensure that every sample was processed at 12 ± 1% moisture content. A laboratory-scale rice huller was used to husk paddy samples. The hulled rice was sieved to check the percentage of brown head and broken rice, while rice husk was weighed separately. The brown head rice was further milled on a laboratory-scale polisher to determine the final yield of polished head (white) rice and the broken and bran percentages. Head rice is the rice grain obtained after removal of husk from the paddy grain. Immediately after husk removal, it is called “brown head rice” (the term brown rice is very common). The head brown rice is further processed through polisher to obtain white head rice. A higher recovery of polished head (white) rice indicates better milling characteristics of rice. Here, head rice refers to grains having an average grain length (AGL) that is more than three fourths of the whole grain rice. The whole grain is the one with the head intact after milling.

Rice grain length is recognized as the second most significant grain characteristics, after milling quality (Cruz and Khush 2000). A digital caliper was used to measure AGL and average grain width (AGW) of 100 randomly selected grains from each experimental unit. The average grain length to width ratio (AGLW ratio) was estimated by dividing AGL with the respective AGW. The grain length, grain width, and their ratios were determined for the brown (i.e., head rice) and polished (white) rice in the same way.

Statistical analyses

The collected data for grain characteristics were analyzed using Fishers’ analysis of variance (ANOVA) technique, while the least significant difference (LSD) test at the 0.05 probability level was used to compare differences among treatment means (McGraw-Hill 2008). A pool analysis of the data indicated the years’ effect to be significant; hence, the data were analyzed and presented separately for the 2 years. Since the interactions were significant for most of the parameters, only the data for interactive effects are presented.

Results

Weather data

Weather data of mean daily temperature, rainfall, and solar radiation recorded during both years of study are presented in Fig. 1. According to this, year 2009 was a bit hotter particularly during the months of September to November and also received lower rainfall than 2008. Moreover, during 2008, more solar radiation was recorded compared with 2009 during the months of September and October (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1

Daily weather data for the experimental area (Faisalabad-Pakistan) during the study period in 2008 and 2009

Effect of rice production systems and cultivars on physical characteristics of rice grains

In 2008, higher normal grains (80.1 and 79.4%) were recorded for Shaheen Basmati grown in AWD and CFTR rice production systems (Table 1). In this year, lowest normal grains (72.2 and 72%) were recorded for Basmati 2000 and Super Basmati grown under AWD. In 2009, significantly higher normal grains (82.0 and 79.7%) were recorded for Super Basmati and Basmati 2000 grown under the AWD system (Table 1). The aerobic rice system sown with Basmati 2000 (60.2%) and Shaheen Basmati (55.3%) and the CFTR system sown with Shaheen Basmati (57.1%) had the lowest normal grain percentage. In 2008, the highest percentage of chalky grains was recorded with Super Basmati (5.6%) under AWD system, followed by Basmati 2000 (4.1%) under the same system (Table 1). In the same year, the lowest number of chalky grains was seen in Shaheen Basmati (2.7%) followed by Basmati 2000 (3.0%) under CFTR. In 2009, the highest percentage of chalky grains was observed in the aerobic rice system planted to Shaheen Basmati (5.4%); Basmati 2000 (4.3%) had the next highest under CFTR. The lowest percentage of chalky grains was recorded in CFTR (Super Basmati and Shaheen Basmati) and in AWD (Basmati 2000 and Shaheen Basmati) (Table 1).
Table 1

Effect of rice production systems (CFTR, AWD, and AR) and cultivars (V1 = Super Basmati, V2 = Basmati 2000, V3 = Shaheen Basmati) on the percentages of normal and chalky grains in 2008 and 2009

Production systems

Normal grains (%)

Chalky grains (%)

2008

2009

2008

2009

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

CFTR

78.3 ab

76.8 ab

79.4 a

77.5 ab

70.7 c

57.1 d

3.1 cde

3.0 de

2.7 e

2.6 d

4.3 b

2.5 d

AWD

72.0 b

72.2 b

80.1 a

82.0 a

79.7 a

70.4 c

5.6 a

4.1 b

3.3 cd

4.2 bc

2.1 d

2.7 d

AR

73.9 ab

73.3 ab

76.0 ab

72.0 bc

60.2 d

55.3 d

3.7 bc

3.4 cd

3.3 cd

3.5 c

4.0 bc

5.4 a

LSD

6.73

5.89

0.609

0.742

Means not sharing a letter in common in a column differ significantly at p = 0.05

CFTR conventionally flooded transplanted rice, AWD alternate wetting and drying, AR aerobic rice

In 2008, compared with other cultivars, significantly higher abortive grains were recorded for Shaheen Basmati sown in the aerobic (6.0%) followed by AWD system for the same cultivar (5.4%) (Table 2). Meanwhile, the lowest number of abortive grains were observed in Super Basmati under aerobic (2.7%) followed by CFTR (3.1%) system for the same cultivar. In 2009, higher abortive grains were recorded for Shaheen Basmati sown in the CFTR (5.3%) and aerobic rice (4.7%) systems and Basmati 2000 under aerobic rice (4.9%) than for other cultivars. The least abortive grains were noted in CFTR (Super Basmati, 2.2%) and AWD (Basmati 2000, 2.4%).
Table 2

Effect of rice production systems (CFTR, AWD, and AR) and cultivars (V1 = Super Basmati, V2 = Basmati 2000, V3 = Shaheen Basmati) on the percentages of abortive and opaque grains in 2008 and 2009

Production systems

Abortive grains (%)

Opaque grains (%)

2008

2009

2008

2009

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

CFTR

3.1 ef

3.9 cd

3.6 de

2.2 c

3.1 bc

5.3 a

0.60 f

3.6 a

2.9 bc

0.84 d

2.7 bc

1.8 b–d

AWD

4.4 c

4.3 c

5.4 b

3.5 b

2.4 c

2.7 bc

2.2 de

3.1 b

1.9 e

1.5 cd

0.8 d

1.5 cd

AR

2.7 f

3.4 de

6.0 a

2.9 bc

4.9 a

4.7 a

2.5 cd

2.3 de

2.1 de

3.1 ab

4.5 a

2.9 bc

LSD

0.58

1.05

0.48

1.41

Means not sharing a letter in common in a column differ significantly at p = 0.05

CFTR conventionally flooded transplanted rice, AWD alternate wetting and drying, AR aerobic rice

In 2008, a significantly higher percentage of opaque grains were observed in Basmati 2000 grown under CFTR (3.6%) and AWD (3.1%) systems (Table 2). In this same year, the lowest opaque grain percentage was recorded in the CFTR system where Super Basmati (0.6%) was sown, followed by AWD with Shaheen Basmati (1.9%). In 2009, a higher percentage of opaque grains was seen in the aerobic rice system with Basmati 2000 (4.5%), followed by Super Basmati (3.1%). Also, in this year, lowest opaque grains were noted in AWD (Basmati 2000, 0.80%) and CFTR (Super Basmati, 0.84%).Percentage of opaque grains increased with decrease in moisture levels (AR > AWD > CFTR) during both the years in Super Basmati, but this trend was not visible in other varieties. Aerobic rice had higher opaque grains during 2009 in all the three varieties, whereas in 2008, they were more in AWD system.

Effect of rice production systems and cultivars on grain length and width of rice

In 2008, Super Basmati had the highest AGL under CFTR (10.8 mm), followed by AWD (10.4 mm) (Table 3). The lowest AGL was recorded for Basmati 2000 (9.6 mm) in the aerobic rice system. In 2009, the grains with highest AGL were produced in the CFTR (Super Basmati, 10.4 mm; Basmati 2000, 10.2 mm), AWD systems (Super Basmati, 10.3 mm), and AR system (Super Basmati, 10.2 mm). In both years, AGW was not affected by rice production system or cultivar (Table 3). In 2008, the highest AGLW ratio was recorded for Super Basmati grown under CFTR (6.2) and AWD (5.9), which was also highest compared to other varieties. In the same year, the lowest AGLW was noted in the aerobic rice system using Basmati 2000 (5.4) and in the CFTR system using Super Basmati (5.5).
Table 3

Effect of rice production systems (CFTR, AWD, and AR) and cultivars (V1 = Super Basmati, V2 = Basmati 2000, V3 = Shaheen Basmati) on average grain length, width, and their ratio in 2008 and 2009

Production systems

Average grain length (mm)

Average grain width (mm)

Average grain length-width ratio

2008

2009

2008

2009

2008

2009

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

CFTR

10.8 a

10.1 b–d

9.8 de

10.4 a

10.2 a

9.8 bc

1.7

1.8

1.8

1.8

1.9

1.8

6.2 a

5.7 bc

5.5 d

5.7 ab

5.5 bc

5.5 a–c

AWD

10.4 ab

10.3 bc

9.9 c–e

9.8 bc

10.3 a

9.5 c

1.8

1.8

1.8

1.7

1.9

1.8

5.9 ab

5.7 bc

5.7 bc

5.7 ab

5.6 a–c

5.2 d

AR

10.2 b–d

9.6 e

9.9 c–e

10.2 a

9.9 b

9.6 bc

1.8

1.8

1.8

1.8

1.9

1.8

5.7 b–d

5.4 d

5.5 cd

5.8 a

5.4 cd

5.3 cd

LSD

0.41

0.35

NS

NS

0.33

0.28

Means not sharing a letter in common in a column differ significantly at p = 0.05

CFTR conventionally flooded transplanted rice, AWD alternate wetting and drying, AR aerobic rice, NS non-significant

Brown (head) rice length decreased in all the three varieties with reduced moisture (CFTR > AWD > AR), though data was non-significant during 2008 (Table 4). Basmati 2000 had more brown (head) rice length compared to other varieties during both the years. In 2008, neither rice production systems nor cultivars affected brown (head) rice length and width. In 2009 under CFTR, significantly higher brown (head) rice lengths were seen in Basmati 2000 (7.49 mm) and Shaheen Basmati (7.4 mm). In this year, lowest brown (head) rice length (6.59 mm) was recorded in the aerobic rice system sown with Super Basmati. In 2009, highest brown rice width was reported in the CFTR system sown with Super Basmati (1.48 mm), while the lowest value was noted in the aerobic rice system sown with Shaheen Basmati (1.2 mm) (Table 4). No clear trend was visible for brown (head) rice width due to production systems during 2008, though it decreased with production systems (CFTR > AWD > AR) during 2009.
Table 4

Effect of rice production systems (CFTR, AWD, and AR) and cultivars (V1 = Super Basmati, V2 = Basmati 2000, V3 = Shaheen Basmati) on brown (head) rice length and width in 2008 and 2009

Production systems

Brown (head) rice length (mm)

Brown (head) rice width (mm)

2008

2009

2008

2009

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

CFTR

7.8

7.8

7.55

7.18 b

7.49 a

7.40 a

1.58

1.63

1.55

1.48 a

1.39 abc

1.43 ab

AWD

7.63

7.74

7.54

6.88 cd

7.13 b

7.03 bc

1.56

1.63

1.61

1.30 bcd

1.31 abcd

1.29 bcd

AR

7.46

7.63

7.46

6.59 e

6.91 cd

6.78 d

1.59

1.7

1.61

1.27 bcd

1.24 cd

1.2 d

LSD

NS

0.18

NS

0.18

Means not sharing a letter in common in a column differ significantly at p = 0.05

CFTR conventionally flooded transplanted rice, AWD alternate wetting and drying, AR aerobic rice, NS non-significant

In 2008 and 2009, the highest values of polished (white) rice length (7.7 and 7.2 mm, respectively) were recorded in the CFTR system sown with Basmati 2000 (Table 5). Polished (white) rice length decreased in all the three varieties during 2009 with decreasing moisture levels (CFTR > AWD > AR), but similar trend was missing during 2008. In 2008, under CFTR, Super Basmati polished (white) rice was the shortest (7.0 mm), whereas in 2009, the aerobic rice system sown with Super Basmati had the lowest polished (white) rice length (6.4 mm). In both years, polished (white) rice width was not affected by rice production system or cultivar (Table 5).
Table 5

Effect of rice production systems (CFTR, AWD, and AR) and cultivars (V1 = Super Basmati, V2 = Basmati 2000, V3 = Shaheen Basmati) on polished (white) rice length and width in 2008 and 2009

Production systems

Polished (white) rice length (mm)

Polished (white) rice width (mm)

2008

2009

2008

2009

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

CFTR

7.0 b

7.7 a

7.4 ab

6.8 bc

7.2 a

6.9 b

1.5

1.6

1.5

1.2

1.3

1.2

AWD

7.2 ab

7.2 ab

7.5 ab

6.7 bc

6.8 bc

6.7 bc

1.5

1.6

1.6

1.2

1.3

1.3

AR

7.3 ab

7.5 ab

7.3 ab

6.4 d

6.5 cd

6.5 cd

1.6

1.6

1.6

1.3

1.2

1.2

LSD

0.673

0.297

NS

NS

Means not sharing a letter in common in a column differ significantly at p = 0.05

CFTR conventionally flooded transplanted rice, AWD alternate wetting and drying, AR aerobic rice, NS non-significant

Effect of rice production systems and cultivars on rice recovery

In 2008, the highest percentage of brown (head) rice was noted in the CFTR system sown with Super Basmati and Basmati 2000 (70.9%), the AWD system sown with Basmati 2000 (70.9%), and the aerobic rice system sown with Basmati 2000 (71.2%) (Table 6). In 2009, highest brown (head) rice percentage was recorded in the CFTR system sown with all the three Basmati varieties and decreased in AWD and AR system. In both years, the lowest brown (head) rice percentage (65.3%) was obtained from the aerobic rice system sown with Shaheen Basmati (Table 6). In 2008, non-significant results were noted for broken brown rice, while in 2009, highest broken brown rice was recorded in the aerobic rice system sown with Shaheen Basmati (10.2%). In this year, lowest broken brown rice was noted in the CFTR system sown with Basmati 2000 (6.8%), followed by Super Basmati (7.3%). In 2008, the highest quantity of husk was recorded in the aerobic rice system sown with Shaheen Basmati (26.3%), while the lowest husk was recorded in the CFTR system sown with Basmati 2000 (19.9%) (Table 6). During 2009, all the three varieties had higher rice husk in AR system which decreased in AWD and CFTR systems.
Table 6

Effect of rice production systems (CFTR, AWD, and AR) and cultivars (V1 = Super Basmati, V2 = Basmati 2000, V3 = Shaheen Basmati) on brown (head) rice recovery in 2008 and 2009

Production systems

Brown (head) rice (%)

Brown broken rice (%)

Husk from paddy (%)

2008

2009

2008

2009

2008

2009

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

CFTR

70.9 a

70.9 a

66.9 abc

71.4 ab

73.1 a

69.8 bc

7.3

9.1

7.4

7.3 g

6.8 h

8.7 e

21.8 cd

19.9 d

25.7 ab

21.4 cd

20.1 d

21.3 cd

AWD

66.0 bc

70.9 a

68.6 abc

68.2 cd

70.7 b

67.7 cde

10.8

8.3

7.7

9.5 d

7.9 f

9.0 e

23.2 bcd

20.8 cd

23.7 abc

22.3 bc

21.5 cd

23.4 ab

AR

70.3 ab

71.2 a

65.3 c

65.5 ef

66.8 def

65.3 f

6.8

7.0

8.4

9.9 b

9.7 c

10.2 a

22.9 bcd

21.9 cd

26.3 a

24.6 a

23.4 ab

24.5 a

LSD

4.81

2.29

NS

0.159

3.09

1.49

Means not sharing a letter in common in a column differ significantly at p = 0.05

CFTR conventionally flooded transplanted rice, AWD alternate wetting and drying, AR aerobic rice, NS non-significant

In 2008, the highest percentage of polished (white) rice was observed in Super Basmati sown under the aerobic rice system (77.7%); this was followed by that under AWD (76.0%) and CFTR (73.7%), but reverse trend was observed for production systems during 2009 (Table 7). In 2008, the lowest percentage of polished (white) rice was recorded in the AWD system sown with Basmati 2000 (58.8%). In 2009, the lowest percentage of polished (white) rice was noted in the aerobic rice system sown with Shaheen Basmati (64.2%), followed by Basmati 2000 (65.5%) which steadily increased in AWD and CFTR systems. In 2008, the highest percentage of polished broken rice was recorded in the AWD system sown with Basmati 2000 (30.4%). In 2009, the highest polished broken rice was recorded in aerobic rice system sown with Shaheen Basmati (24.7%), followed by Basmati 2000 (23.9%) and Super Basmati (21.1%) which decreased significantly in AWD and CFTR systems (Table 7). In both years, the highest rice bran after polishing was recorded in the aerobic rice system sown with Shaheen Basmati (12.5 and 11.0%). In 2008, the lowest rice bran after polishing (8.4%) was recorded in the CFTR system sown with Basmati 2000. In 2009, this value was seen in Super Basmati sown under CFTR (8.1%) and AWD (8.6%) (Table 7).
Table 7

Effect of rice production systems (CFTR, AWD, and AR) and cultivars (V1 = Super Basmati, V2 = Basmati 2000, V3 = Shaheen Basmati) on polished (white) rice recovery in 2008 and 2009

Production systems

Polished (white) rice (%)

Polished broken rice (%)

Bran after polishing (%)

2008

2009

2008

2009

2008

2009

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

V1

V2

V3

CFTR

73.7 abc

69.3 cd

74.2 abc

76.5 a

72.8 c

71.6 d

15.7 c

22.3 b

15.9 c

15.4 e

17.6 cd

18.6 c

10.7 ab

8.4 d

9.8 bcd

8.1 e

9.6 cd

9.8 cd

AWD

76.0 ab

58.8 e

75.1 abc

74.2 b

69.3 e

68.5 e

13.5 c

30.4 a

14.2 c

17.1 d

21.6 b

22.0 b

10.5 bc

10.8 ab

10.7 ab

8.6 e

9.3 d

9.5 d

AR

77.7 a

69.9 bcd

66.9 d

68.8 e

65.5 f

64.2 g

13.1 c

21.4 b

20.6 b

21.1 b

23.9 a

24.7 a

9.2 bcd

8.7 cd

12.5 a

10.1 bc

10.6 ab

11.0 a

LSD

6.50

0.864

3.05

1.285

1.95

0.611

Means not sharing a letter in common in a column differ significantly at p = 0.05

CFTR conventionally flooded transplanted rice, AWD alternate wetting and drying, AR aerobic rice

Discussion

Different rice-growing systems supposedly have a different effect on rice grain characteristics. For instance, the study of Zhang et al. (2008) reported that the effect of water inputs was significant on grain characteristics. Similarly, in our studies, rice-growing systems with high water inputs (CFTR and AWD when compared with aerobic rice) improved grain characteristics with a notable rise in the AGL and AGLW ratio tied to substantial reduction in the proportions of abortive, opaque, and chalky grains (Tables 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5). The results from study of Cheng et al. (2003) indicated that water management significantly impacts the rice grain quality. The same was observed in our study where the cultivars, Shaheen Basmati in particular, grown under the low water-requiring aerobic rice system was found to have higher broken brown rice, husk percentage, broken polished (white) rice, and bran after polishing (Tables 6 and 7). Similarly, the cultivars sown in CFTR had lower percentages of broken brown rice, husk, polished broken rice, and bran after polishing, indicating the superior milling quality obtained with this water management method (Tables 6 and 7). These results are supported by the work of Zhang et al. (2008), who reported that flooded rice had a superior grain quality and characteristics over the non-flooded rice. The lowest recovery percentage of brown (head) rice was found in Shaheen Basmati sown under the aerobic rice system during first year of study (Table 6). Importantly, this treatment also had inferior grain characteristics (except for the higher normal grains during 2008), including higher chalky (Table 1) and abortive grains (Table 2). Only Super Basmati sown under the CFTR system could maintain a higher brown (head) and polished (white) rice recovery in both the cropping seasons (Tables 6 and 7). In particular, cultivars sown in water-saving production systems (i.e., AWD and aerobic rice) could not maintain a consistency in higher recovery over the years. The inferior grain characteristics and poor recovery in water-saving rice systems, particularly during second year of the study (Tables 6 and 7), could be explained by a particular environment of the respective treatments and the weather conditions (Cheng et al. 2003; Zhang et al. 2008).

The weather data presented in Fig. 1 indicates that 2009 was a hotter year than 2008. Also, much lower rainfall was received in the year 2009 than in 2008 (Fig. 1). Temperature may play a significant role in deciding the grain quality and characteristics of cereals particularly during the reproductive stage (Oh-e et al. 2007). According to Oh-e et al. (2007), a temperature appropriate for good grain filling in rice was 25 ± 3 °C. However, we noted a higher temperature than this limit in our studies (Fig. 1). Moreover, recently, Zhao and Fitzgerald (2013) explained that lower rice grain characteristics and poor recovery were associated with hotter (with high temperature) and drier (with low moisture content) environments. They further argued that rice plants grown under ample water experience a higher cooling effect through transpiration, which improves grain quality, characteristics (head rice yield), and milling efficiency.

Grain length and width of rice are genetically controlled parameters that are, no doubt, affected by environmental conditions and the treatments imposed (Tan et al. 2000; Zhang et al. 2008). Water is a major constituent that acts as a reagent for chemical and biochemical reactions in plant tissues, a solvent for the translocation of metabolites and minerals, and a vital component for cell enlargement through increased turgor pressure (Crusciol et al. 2008), perhaps increasing the AGL and AGLW ratio. Moreover, the lack of adequate moisture leading toward water stress might have affected the vegetative growth of plants and the development of grain filling, consequently leading toward higher percentages of abortive, chalky, and opaque grains (Yang et al. 2001). Importantly, the water deficiency reduces the duration of grain filling (Yang et al. 2001).

Generally, Shaheen Basmati grown under various cultivation systems had lower AGL than Super Basmati and Basmati 2000. The lowest AGL of Basmati 2000 sown under aerobic rice system in 2008 (Table 3) might be attributed to lodging (data not shown), accompanied by lower water application in this system (Cheng et al. 2003; Koutroubas and Papakosta 2010). The highest number of normal paddy grains of Shaheen Basmati grown in the CFTR and AWD systems in 2008 (Table 1) was probably the result of favorable environments in these two cultivation systems (Plaut et al. 2004; Yang et al. 2005). Generally, normal paddy grain percentage was higher in 2008 than in 2009 (Table 1) and reason is that the year 2009 was hotter and received a low rainfall than 2008, and ultimately high temperature and low rainfall may lead to comparatively low normal paddy grain percentage in year 2009 (Oh-e et al. 2007; Zhao and Fitzgerald 2013). The water received in the form of rainfall and the lower temperature during the reproductive stage might have resulted in the higher grain-filling rate (Plaut et al. 2004). Normal grain percentage declined in Shaheen Basmati sown in the CFTR and aerobic rice systems in the second year, which might have contributed to the poor grain characteristics in these treatments (Table 1).

Higher head rice, AGL, and AGLW ratio and reduced broken, bran, and husk percentages contributing toward milling yield are grain characteristics desired by millers and the exporters (Fitzgerald et al. 2009). Rice with long grains is liked worldwide and gives a nice look after cooking (Fitzgerald et al. 2009). After milling, the higher AGL of brown (head) and polished (white) rice observed in high-water-input systems (CFTR and AWD) compared with that in less-water-input systems (aerobic rice system) was due to the higher AGL of paddy in these systems. Likewise, because of the long-sized grain, Super Basmati and Basmati 2000 recorded higher AGL of brown (head) (Table 4) and polished (white) rice after milling than did Shaheen Basmati (Table 5). Nonetheless, due to lesser proportion of chalky, opaque, and abortive grains, Super Basmati and Basmati 2000 cultivated under CFTR, followed by AWD, resulted in a higher proportion of brown (head) and polished (white) rice after polishing (Tables 1 and 2). This also means a significant reduction in the fractions of rice husk and rice bran which are not consumable as food. The starch granules in the chalky areas are more loosely packed compared with those in translucent areas; thus, they are weaker and are more prone to breakage during milling. This increased the percentage of broken rice and lowered the head rice recovery. Also, the opaque and abortive grains cannot resist the abrasive forces of the polisher, consequently, increasing the broken percentage. The aerobic rice system not only produced grains with poor characteristics but also resulted in lower recovery of brown (head) and polished (white) rice linked with higher fractions of rice husk (Table 7) and rice bran (Table 6).

Conclusions

Growing rice using water-saving methods, especially the aerobic rice system, results in a considerable reduction in water inputs. However, in our studies, it was achieved at the cost of grain quality and characteristics. Poor quality characteristics of rice grains and milling recovery were attributed to lower-water-input cultivation system. The results of this study conclude that higher grain characteristics and recovery of rice can be attained by growing Super Basmati under the CFTR system. Meanwhile, growing Shaheen Basmati using low-water-input systems (aerobic rice system in particular) resulted in poor grain characteristics and less rice recovery. As a future research, the effect of water-saving rice cultivation on other quality parameters (e.g., chemical characteristics of rice grains such as aroma, gel consistency, and amylase contents) of rice grains is required to be investigated.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AgronomyUniversity of Agriculture FaisalabadFaisalabadPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural SciencesDüzce UniversityDüzceTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Food Science and TechnologySejong UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Institute of Food Science and NutritionBahauddin Zakariya UniversityMultanPakistan
  5. 5.Bahauddin Zakariya UniversityMultanPakistan
  6. 6.Department of Environmental SciencesCOMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT)VehariPakistan
  7. 7.CIHEAM-Institut Agronomique Méditerranéen de Montpellier (IAMM)MontpellierFrance
  8. 8.CSIRO Sustainable EcosystemNational Agricultural Research FlagshipToowoombaAustralia
  9. 9.Institute of Soil and Environmental SciencesUniversity of Agriculture FaisalabadFaisalabadPakistan
  10. 10.College of Plant Science and TechnologyHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanChina
  11. 11.Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI)The University of QueenslandGattonAustralia

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