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Silicon uptake by wheat: Effects of Si pools and pH


Gocke, Martina; Liang, Wu; Sommer, Michael; Kuzyakov, Yakov (2013). Silicon uptake by wheat: Effects of Si pools and pH. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 176(4):551-560.

Abstract

Silicon (Si), although not considered essential, has beneficial effects on plant growth which are mostly associated with the ability to accumulate amorphous (phytogenic) Si, e.g., as phytoliths. Phytogenic Si is the most active Si pool in the soil–plant system because of its great surface-tovolume ratio, amorphous structure, and high water solubility. Despite the high abundance of Si in terrestrial biogeosystems and its importance, e.g., for the global C cycle, little is known about Si fluxes between soil and plants and Si pools used by plants. This study aims at elucidating the contribution of various soil Si pools to Si uptake by wheat. As pH affects dissolution of Si pools and Si uptake by plants, the effect of pH (4.5 and 7) was evaluated. Wheat was grown on Si-free pellets mixed with one of the following Si pools: quartz sand (crystalline), anorthite powder (crystalline), or silica gel (amorphous). Silicon content was measured in aboveground biomass, roots, and soil solution 4 times in intervals of 7 d. At pH 4.5, plants grew best on anorthite, but pH did not significantly affect Si-uptake rates. Total Si contents in plant biomass were significantly higher in the silica-gel treatment compared to all other treatments, with up to 26 mg g⁻¹ in aboveground biomass and up to 17 mg g⁻¹ in roots. Thus, Si uptake depends on the conversion of Si into plant-available silicic acid. This conversion occurs too slowly for crystalline Si phases, therefore Si uptake from treatments with quartz sand and anorthite did not differ from the control. For plants grown on silica gel, real Si-uptake rates were higher than the theoretical value calculated based on water transpiration. This implies that Si uptake by wheat is driven not only by passive water flux but also by active transporters, depending on Si concentration in the aqueous phase, thus on type of Si pool. These results show that Si uptake by plants as well as plant growth are significantly affected by the type of Si pool and factors controlling its solubility.

Abstract

Silicon (Si), although not considered essential, has beneficial effects on plant growth which are mostly associated with the ability to accumulate amorphous (phytogenic) Si, e.g., as phytoliths. Phytogenic Si is the most active Si pool in the soil–plant system because of its great surface-tovolume ratio, amorphous structure, and high water solubility. Despite the high abundance of Si in terrestrial biogeosystems and its importance, e.g., for the global C cycle, little is known about Si fluxes between soil and plants and Si pools used by plants. This study aims at elucidating the contribution of various soil Si pools to Si uptake by wheat. As pH affects dissolution of Si pools and Si uptake by plants, the effect of pH (4.5 and 7) was evaluated. Wheat was grown on Si-free pellets mixed with one of the following Si pools: quartz sand (crystalline), anorthite powder (crystalline), or silica gel (amorphous). Silicon content was measured in aboveground biomass, roots, and soil solution 4 times in intervals of 7 d. At pH 4.5, plants grew best on anorthite, but pH did not significantly affect Si-uptake rates. Total Si contents in plant biomass were significantly higher in the silica-gel treatment compared to all other treatments, with up to 26 mg g⁻¹ in aboveground biomass and up to 17 mg g⁻¹ in roots. Thus, Si uptake depends on the conversion of Si into plant-available silicic acid. This conversion occurs too slowly for crystalline Si phases, therefore Si uptake from treatments with quartz sand and anorthite did not differ from the control. For plants grown on silica gel, real Si-uptake rates were higher than the theoretical value calculated based on water transpiration. This implies that Si uptake by wheat is driven not only by passive water flux but also by active transporters, depending on Si concentration in the aqueous phase, thus on type of Si pool. These results show that Si uptake by plants as well as plant growth are significantly affected by the type of Si pool and factors controlling its solubility.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:03 Mar 2015 16:31
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:09
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1436-8730
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/jpln.201200098

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