Impact Assessment of Cetyltrimethylammonium Bromide Treated Organically Modified Nanoclay-Polymer Composite on Soil Enzyme Activity and Root Volume

  • Yukti VermaEmail author
  • S. C. Datta
  • Nitesh Kumar Singh
Research Article


The effect of organically modified nanoclay-polymer composite was evaluated on soil enzyme activity and root volume at different growth stages viz. crown root initiation, tillering and panicle initiation of wheat (variety: HD 3059). Nanoclay-polymer composite was synthesized by in -situ polymerization of acrylic acid-acrylamide in presence of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide @ 60% neutralization degree and 0.5% cross-linker level and subsequently loaded with di-ammonium phosphate fertilizer (14 g di-ammonium phosphate per unit weight of nanoclay-polymer composite). Phosphorus loaded nanoclay-polymer composite and conventional diammonium phosphate fertilizer were applied (P dose-40 mg P2O5 kg−1 soil) to two types of soil (Alfisol and Inceptisol). Soil enzyme activity and root volume were studied independently with a factorial completely randomized design experiment. Results revealed that dehydrogenase enzyme activity in modified nanoclay-polymer composite increased by + 26.3 and + 19% over conventional fertilizer in Alfisol and Inceptisol respectively. Acid phosphatase activity (9.25 µg p-nitrophenol g−1 soil h−1) was highest at panicle initiation stage in Inceptisol whereas alkaline phosphatase activity was more at tillering in both soils. Root volume also increased by + 16.8% on applying nanoclay-polymer composite as compared to conventional fertilizer in Alfisol. The corresponding data in Inceptisol was + 13.1%. Therefore, it was concluded that nanoclay-polymer composite prepared from organoclay has a positive effect on soil enzyme activity as well as root volume.


Organoclay Phosphorus dehydrogenase Phosphatase Soil health 



The first author is grateful to Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi for providing financial support as Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) during her research programme and Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi for providing all facilities for successful completion of the research work.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest for publishing this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© The National Academy of Sciences, India 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yukti Verma
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. C. Datta
    • 2
  • Nitesh Kumar Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Institute of Agricultural SciencesBHUVaranasiIndia
  2. 2.Division of Soil Science and Agricultural ChemistryIndian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia

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