Functions and transport of silicon in plants
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- Ma, J.F. & Yamaji, N. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2008) 65: 3049. doi:10.1007/s00018-008-7580-x
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Silicon exerts beneficial effects on plant growth and production by alleviating both biotic and abiotic stresses including diseases, pests, lodging, drought, and nutrient imbalance. Recently, two genes (Lsi1 and Lsi2) encoding Si transporters have been identified from rice. Lsi1 (low silicon 1) belongs to a Nod26-like major intrinsic protein subfamily in aquaporin, while Lsi2 encodes a putative anion transporter. Lsi1 is localized on the distal side of both exodermis and endodermis in rice roots, while Lsi2 is localized on the proximal side of the same cells. Lsi1 shows influx transport activity for Si, while Lsi2 shows efflux transport activity. Therefore, Lsi1 is responsible for transport of Si from the external solution to the root cells, whereas Lsi2 is an efflux transporter responsible for the transport of Si from the root cells to the apoplast. Coupling of Lsi1 with Lsi2 is required for efficient uptake of Si in rice.