Special Issue "Role of Silicon in Plants"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 December 2017).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Maria Greger
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. Silicon has yet not been decided to be an essential element to plants, mostly due to the problem of testing its essentiality. Since Si is very hard to completely remove from the nutrient substrate of plants it has been impossible to show that plants cannot complete its life cycle in their absence.  However, plants benefit from the presence of Si and it is found that Si can increase biomass production and increase the tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses and it helps the plant with stability and protection. Silicon is taken up in the form of silicic acid and Si transporters mediate the transport. Inside the plant amorphous SiO2 sk. phytolites, are formed. Those phytolites returns to the soil when plants are decomposed and by this Si returns to the soil and can be taken up by the next generation of plants. Some plants have high accumulation of Si in their body, e.g., rice, sugar cane, and bamboo, and, for these plants, Si is quite beneficial. All these findings point at the fact that Si has to be counted as an essential plant nutrient and not only beneficial. This Special Issue of Plants will highlight the function of Si in plants, especially with a focus on plants in which are not Si accumulators. The issue will among others highlight Si uptake in non-Si accumulators, phytolites and their importance, role of Si in plant roots, role of Si in plant protection, stabilization and biomass production.

Dr. Maria Greger
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • silicon;
  • plant protection;
  • stabilization;
  • tolerance to stresses;
  • biomass production;
  • phytolites;
  • silicon uptake;
  • silicon as plant nutrient

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Silicon Influences Soil Availability and Accumulation of Mineral Nutrients in Various Plant Species
Plants 2018, 7(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants7020041 - 19 May 2018
Cited by 14
Abstract
Silicon (Si) effects on mineral nutrient status in plants are not well investigated. It is known that Si has a beneficial effect on plants under stressed conditions. The aim was to make a state of the art investigation of the Si influence: (1) [...] Read more.
Silicon (Si) effects on mineral nutrient status in plants are not well investigated. It is known that Si has a beneficial effect on plants under stressed conditions. The aim was to make a state of the art investigation of the Si influence: (1) on nutrient availability in four different soil types, namely clayish, sandy, alum shale and submerged soil; and (2) on accumulation of various nutrients in maize, lettuce, pea, carrot and wheat growing in hydroponics. Soil was treated with K2SiO3 corresponding to 80 and 1000 kg Si ha−1 and the nutrient medium with 100, 500, 1000 and 5000 μM Si. In general, Si effects were similar in all analyzed plant species and in all soil types tested. Results showed that, in soil, Si increased the availability of Ca, P, S, Mn, Zn, Cu and Mo and that of Cl and Fe tended to increase. The availability of K and Mg was not much affected by Si. Uptake from solution of S, Mg, Ca, B, Fe, and Mn increased; N, Cu, Zn and K decreased; P decreased/increased; and Cl and Mo was not influenced. Translocation to shoot of Mg, Ca, S, Mn, and Mo increased; Fe, Cu and Zn decreased; and K, P, N, Cl and B was not affected. It was concluded that, if plants had been cultivated in soil, Si-maintained increased availability of nutrients in the soil solution would probably compensate for the decrease in tissue concentration of those nutrient elements. The study shows that Si also influences the nutrient uptake in non-stressed plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Silicon in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Silicon on the Tolerance of Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) to Salt Stress at Different Growth Stages: Case Study for the Management of Irrigation Water
Plants 2018, 7(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants7020029 - 03 Apr 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
This paper aims to determine the most tolerant growth stage(s) of wheat to salinity stress with the addition of silicon. The aim was to investigate whether saline water could be used instead of good quality water for irrigation without implicating a greater risk [...] Read more.
This paper aims to determine the most tolerant growth stage(s) of wheat to salinity stress with the addition of silicon. The aim was to investigate whether saline water could be used instead of good quality water for irrigation without implicating a greater risk to crop production. Local wheat cv. Gimmiza 11 was germinated and grown in sand cultures. Four different NaCl salinity levels were used as treatments: 0, 60, 90 and 120 mM. This was in the presence of 0 and 0.78 mM Si which added as sodium meta- silicate (Na2SiO3·9H2O). Both the NaCl and Si treatments were carried out using a full strength nutrient solution that was adjusted at pH 6.0 and used for irrigation in four replications. The application of Si with the saline nutrient media significantly enhanced superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities in plant leaves at the booting stage compared to the other stages. This was associated with a marked decline in the H2O2 content. At the booting stage, the Si treatment promoted CAT activity in 120 mM NaCl-stressed leaves compared to the leaves treated with only 120 mM NaCl solution. SOD showed greater prevalence at the booting stage when Si was added into the saline media, and it also revealed maximum activity at the milky stage with salinity stress. This was associated with a smaller reduction in shoot fresh and dry weights, greater reduction in the leaf Na+ content and an increase in the K+ content, which ultimately increased the cytosolic K+/Na+ ratio. Chlorophyll a and b and carotenoid (total photosynthetic pigments) were also higher at the booting stage of salt-stressed plants treated with Si compared to other stages. Accordingly, Si application enhanced the salt tolerance of wheat and reduced the inhibitory effect of Na+ and oxidative stress damage as growth proceeded towards maturity, particularly at the booting stage. This shows that saline water can be used for wheat irrigation at the booting stage (much water is consumed) when good quality water is not available for supplemental irrigation. A field study is needed to confirm the greenhouse results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Silicon in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Integrating Soil Silicon Amendment into Management Programs for Insect Pests of Drill-Seeded Rice
Plants 2017, 6(3), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants6030033 - 13 Aug 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
Silicon soil amendment has been shown to enhance plant defenses against insect pests. Rice is a silicon-accumulating graminaceous plant. In the southern United States, the rice water weevil and stem borers are important pests of rice. Current management tactics for these pests rely [...] Read more.
Silicon soil amendment has been shown to enhance plant defenses against insect pests. Rice is a silicon-accumulating graminaceous plant. In the southern United States, the rice water weevil and stem borers are important pests of rice. Current management tactics for these pests rely heavily on the use of insecticides. This study evaluated the effects of silicon amendment when combined with current management tactics for these rice insect pests in the field. Field experiments were conducted from 2013 to 2015. Rice was drill-planted in plots subjected to factorial combinations of variety (conventional and hybrid), chlorantraniliprole seed treatment (treated and untreated), and silicon amendment (treated and untreated). Silicon amendment reduced densities of weevil larvae on a single sampling date in 2014, but did not affect densities of whiteheads caused by stem borers. In contrast, insecticidal seed treatment strongly reduced densities of both weevil larvae and whiteheads. Higher densities of weevil larvae were also observed in the hybrid variety in 2014, while higher incidences of whiteheads were observed in the conventional variety in 2014 and 2015. Silicon amendment improved rice yields, as did chlorantraniliprole seed treatment and use of the hybrid variety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Silicon in Plants)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Silicon and Mechanisms of Plant Resistance to Insect Pests
Plants 2018, 7(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants7020033 - 13 Apr 2018
Cited by 13
Abstract
This paper reviews the most recent progress in exploring silicon-mediated resistance to herbivorous insects and the mechanisms involved. The aim is to determine whether any mechanism seems more common than the others as well as whether the mechanisms are more pronounced in silicon-accumulating [...] Read more.
This paper reviews the most recent progress in exploring silicon-mediated resistance to herbivorous insects and the mechanisms involved. The aim is to determine whether any mechanism seems more common than the others as well as whether the mechanisms are more pronounced in silicon-accumulating than non-silicon-accumulating species or in monocots than eudicots. Two types of mechanisms counter insect pest attacks: physical or mechanical barriers and biochemical/molecular mechanisms (in which Si can upregulate and prime plant defence pathways against insects). Although most studies have examined high Si accumulators, both accumulators and non-accumulators of silicon as well as monocots and eudicots display similar Si defence mechanisms against insects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Silicon in Plants)
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Open AccessReview
Impact of Silicon in Plant Biomass Production: Focus on Bast Fibres, Hypotheses, and Perspectives
Plants 2017, 6(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants6030037 - 09 Sep 2017
Cited by 8
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Silicon in Plants)
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