G. Pandya, L. Prakash, P. Devasia
The effects of gamma-irradiated sludge on the growth and yield of rice (Oryza sativa L. var. GR-3) in pot cultures have been studied. Compared to plants grown only in soil, shoot length, root length, fresh weight, dry weight, total proteins, total soluble sugars, starch and chlorophyll content of plants grown in soil supplemented with unirradiated or gamma-irradiated sludge were found to be significantly increased. Irradiation of sludge significantly stimulated the linear growth of shoot and root systems as well as fresh and dry weights of plants, compared to those grown in soil containing unirradiated sludge. There was also an improvement in the grain yield (weight of seed) when plants were grown in soil supplemented with irradiated sludge. The results obtained suggest that the gamma-irradiated sewage sludge can be beneficially recycled for agricultural uses.