Special Issue "Practical Use of Si to Influence Plant Production"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 March 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Maria Greger
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Stockholm University (SU), Department of Ecology, Environment, and Plants Sciences, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Interests: phytoremediation; soil; water; silicon, contaminant, abiotic, biotic, stress, heavy metals
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The role of silicon (Si) in plant nutrition has been debated for many years. Nevertheless, plants benefit from the presence of Si and it is found that Si can increase biomass production and the tolerance to various abiotic and biotic stresses and it helps the plant with stability and protection. There are interesting data where Si increases the tolerance to both dry and salty environments and those contaminated with heavy metals. Si increases the tolerance to insects and pests and the use of Si fertilizers may decrease the use of pesticides and insecticides in the future. Use of Si fertilizers may improve the plant uptake of nutrient elements by increasing, e.g., the availability of phosphorus in the soil. Silicon may increase soil particle aggregation and by that improve soil quality. It is well known that silicon accumulator plants, such as rice, bamboo and sugar cane, increase their biomass production by Si-additives. However, this also applies to non-silicon accumulator plants. In agriculture, various Si-containing additives/fertilizers has been tested on their effects on plant production with various results. This Special Issue of Plants will highlight the practical use of Si to influence plant production. The Special Issue will, among other things, highlight effects of various Si-additives in field and pot experiments and its value in plant protection, stabilization, plant nutrition and biomass production.

Dr. Maria Greger
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Silicon fertilizers and additives
  • plant protection
  • biomass production
  • plant nutrition
  • soil improvement

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Potential of Silicon Amendment for Improved Wheat Production
Plants 2018, 7(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants7020026 - 28 Mar 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Many studies throughout the world have shown positive responses of various crops to silicon (Si) application in terms of plant health, nutrient uptake, yield, and quality. Although not considered an essential element for plant growth, Si has been recently recognized as a “beneficial [...] Read more.
Many studies throughout the world have shown positive responses of various crops to silicon (Si) application in terms of plant health, nutrient uptake, yield, and quality. Although not considered an essential element for plant growth, Si has been recently recognized as a “beneficial substance” or “quasi-essential” due to its important role in plant nutrition, especially notable under stressed conditions. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effect of Si on wheat plant height, grain yield (GY), and grain protein content (GP). The experiment was conducted during two consecutive growing seasons in Idaho. A split-plot experimental design was used with three Si fertilization rates (140, 280, and 560 kg Si ha−1) corresponding to 100, 50, and 25% of manufacturer-recommended rates and two application times—at planting and tillering (Feekes 5). MontanaGrowTM (0-0-5) by MontanaGrow Inc. (Bonner, MT, USA) used in this study is a Si product sourced from a high-energy amorphous (non-crystalized) volcanic tuff. There was no significant effect of Si rate and application time on plant height, nutrient uptake, GY, or GP of irrigated winter wheat grown in non-stressed conditions. These results could be directly related to the Si fertilizer source used in the study. We are planning to further evaluate Si’s effect on growth and grain production of wheat grown in non-stressed vs. stressed conditions utilizing several different Si sources and application methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Practical Use of Si to Influence Plant Production)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Silicon Amendment on Soilborne and Fruit Diseases of Avocado
Plants 2017, 6(4), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants6040051 - 20 Oct 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
The effects of silicon (Si) amendment have been studied in several plant/pathogen interactions; however, studies in horticultural tree crops are limited. Effects of amendment with soluble potassium silicate (AgSil®32, approximately 30% available Si), or milled cement building board by-products (Mineral Mulch [...] Read more.
The effects of silicon (Si) amendment have been studied in several plant/pathogen interactions; however, studies in horticultural tree crops are limited. Effects of amendment with soluble potassium silicate (AgSil®32, approximately 30% available Si), or milled cement building board by-products (Mineral Mulch (MM) or Mineral Dust (MD), containing 5% available Si) were investigated in field and greenhouse trials with avocado. Orchard soil drench applications with potassium silicate improved yield and quality of fruit, but visual health of trees declining from Phytophthora root rot (PRR) was not affected. Orchard spray or trunk injection applications with potassium silicate were ineffective. Amendment of potting mix with MM and MD reduced root necrosis of avocado seedlings after inoculation with Calonectria ilicicola, an aggressive soilborne pathogen causing black root rot. Application of MM to mature orchard trees declining with PRR had a beneficial effect on visual tree health, and Si accumulation in leaves and fruit peel, after only 10 months. Products that deliver available Si consistently for uptake are likely to be most successful in perennial tree crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Practical Use of Si to Influence Plant Production)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Silicate Slag Application on Wheat Grown Under Two Nitrogen Rates
Plants 2017, 6(4), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants6040047 - 11 Oct 2017
Cited by 6
Abstract
Field studies were established on the alluvial floodplain soils in Louisiana, from 2013 to 2015, to evaluate the effect of silicate slag applications on productivity of wheat (Triticum aestivum), under sufficient and high nitrogen (N) application rates. Treatments were arranged in [...] Read more.
Field studies were established on the alluvial floodplain soils in Louisiana, from 2013 to 2015, to evaluate the effect of silicate slag applications on productivity of wheat (Triticum aestivum), under sufficient and high nitrogen (N) application rates. Treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design, with four replications consisting of twelve treatments: a factorial combination of two N (101 and 145 kg N ha−1) and five silicate slag rates (0, 1, 2, 4.5, and 9 Mg ha−1), and two control plots (with and without lime). Nitrogen had a greater impact on wheat productivity than silicate slag application. Wheat grain yield reached over 7000 kg ha−1 with applications of 145 kg N, and 9 Mg silicate slag per ha for soil having Si level <20 mg kg−1. Yield increases due to N or Si were attributed to the increase in number of spike m−2 and grain number spike−1. Silicate slag application effectively raised soil pH, and availability of several plant-essential nutrients, including plant-available N (nitrate, NO3), demonstrating the benefits of slag application are beyond increasing plant-available Si. The benefits of silicate slag application were clearly observed in wheat supplied with high N, and on soil with low plant-available Si. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Practical Use of Si to Influence Plant Production)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Effect of Different Silicon Sources on Yield and Silicon Uptake of Rice Grown under Varying Phosphorus Rates
Plants 2017, 6(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants6030035 - 29 Aug 2017
Cited by 11
Abstract
A series of pot experiments were conducted to: (1) evaluate the effects of different Si sources (soil- and foliar-applied) on grain yield and Si accumulation of rice supplied with varying P rates, and (2) evaluate Si absorption of rice using foliar- and soil-applied [...] Read more.
A series of pot experiments were conducted to: (1) evaluate the effects of different Si sources (soil- and foliar-applied) on grain yield and Si accumulation of rice supplied with varying P rates, and (2) evaluate Si absorption of rice using foliar- and soil-applied Si fertilizers. Three P rates, (0, 112, and 224 kg ha−1) combined with five Si treatments (wollastonite and slag applied at 4.5 ton ha−1 and one foliar Si solution applied at 20, 40 and 80 mg Si L−1) and a check were arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replications. The presence of P and Si in the soil created a synergistic effect on soil Al, Mn, and As (P < 0.01), but not on rice growth and P uptake. Wollastonite and slag application were most effective in raising rice Si content than foliar applied Si (P < 0.001). While there was an improvement in biomass (42%) and tiller production (25%) for rice receiving foliar Si, no supporting evidence was obtained in these experiments to verify leaf surface Si absorption. The application of Si-rich materials to soil still remains the most effective method for enhancing Si uptake by plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Practical Use of Si to Influence Plant Production)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Effect of Silicon Fertilization on Crop Yield Quantity and Quality—A Literature Review in Europe
Plants 2018, 7(3), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants7030054 - 06 Jul 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
This paper presents a research review of the effect of silicon fertilization on the yield quantity and quality in the last 15 years. The study focuses on plant species grown in Europe: cereals, soybean, rapeseed, sugar beet, potato, meadows, berries and vegetables, and [...] Read more.
This paper presents a research review of the effect of silicon fertilization on the yield quantity and quality in the last 15 years. The study focuses on plant species grown in Europe: cereals, soybean, rapeseed, sugar beet, potato, meadows, berries and vegetables, and orchard and ornamental plants. The use of silicon is most common in the production of vegetables in greenhouses. However, the use of this element for the fertilization of agricultural plants is rare. Positive prospects of silicon fertilization are associated with foliar application, which is much cheaper and more convenient to use than soil fertilization. Foliar application of silicon has a biostimulative effect, and the best results are observed in stressful conditions for plants such as salinity, deficiency or excess of water, high and low temperature, and the strong pressure of diseases and pests, etc. Based on the results of previous studies, it can be concluded that foliar nutrition should be introduced into production as a standard treatment in the crop management of many species of agricultural plants. It can help farmers to increase the yield of crops. It is also important that it is safe for the environment, which is particularly important in Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Practical Use of Si to Influence Plant Production)
Open AccessReview
The Effects of Foliar Sprays with Different Silicon Compounds
Plants 2018, 7(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants7020045 - 07 Jun 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
The use of foliar sprays with silicon compounds is relatively new. Initially (in 1990) foliar sprays with silicates were used. In 2003, foliar sprays with (stabilized) silicic acid were introduced, and more recently foliar sprays with silica nanoparticles have also been applied. Foliar [...] Read more.
The use of foliar sprays with silicon compounds is relatively new. Initially (in 1990) foliar sprays with silicates were used. In 2003, foliar sprays with (stabilized) silicic acid were introduced, and more recently foliar sprays with silica nanoparticles have also been applied. Foliar sprays with silicates are effective as pesticides, while (stabilized) silicic acid sprays increase growth and yield and decrease biotic and abiotic stresses. The limited data on foliar silica-nano sprays show a tendency to decrease biotic stress and to stimulate a limited increase in growth and yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Practical Use of Si to Influence Plant Production)
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