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Plants 2017, 6(3), 37;

Impact of Silicon in Plant Biomass Production: Focus on Bast Fibres, Hypotheses, and Perspectives

Groupe de Recherche en Physiologie Végétale (GRPV), Earth and Life Institute—Agronomy (ELI-A), Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Environmental Research and Innovation Department, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, L-4362 Esch/Alzette, Luxembourg
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 9 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Silicon in Plants)
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Silicon (Si) is an abundant element which, when supplied to plants, confers increased vigor and resistance to exogenous stresses, as well as enhanced stem mechanical strength. Plant species vary in their ability to take Si up and to accumulate it under the form of silicon dioxide (SiO2) in their tissues: emblematic of this is the example of Poales, among which there is rice, a high Si accumulator. Monocots usually accumulate more Si than dicots; however, the impact that Si has on dicots, notably on economically important dicots, is a subject requiring further study and scientific efforts. In this review, we discuss the impact that Si has on bast fibre-producing plants, because of the potential importance that this element has in sustainable agriculture practices and in light of the great economic value of fibre crops in fostering a bio-economy. We discuss the data already available in the literature, as well as our own research on textile hemp. In particular, we demonstrate the beneficial effect of Si under heavy metal stress, by showing an increase in the leaf fresh weight under growth on Cd 20 µM. Additionally, we propose an effect of Si on bast fibre growth, by suggesting an action on the endogenous phytohormone levels and a mechanical role involved in the resistance to the turgor pressure during elongation. We conclude our survey with a description of the industrial and agricultural uses of Si-enriched plant biomass, where woody fibres are included in the survey. View Full-Text
Keywords: fibre crops; silicon; bast fibres; phytohormones; intrusive growth; lignocellulosic biomass fibre crops; silicon; bast fibres; phytohormones; intrusive growth; lignocellulosic biomass

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Luyckx, M.; Hausman, J.-F.; Lutts, S.; Guerriero, G. Impact of Silicon in Plant Biomass Production: Focus on Bast Fibres, Hypotheses, and Perspectives. Plants 2017, 6, 37.

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