Effects, distribution and uptake of silicon in banana (Musa spp.) under controlled conditions
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- Henriet, C., Draye, X., Oppitz, I. et al. Plant Soil (2006) 287: 359. doi:10.1007/s11104-006-9085-4
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Three contrasted genotypes of Musa spp. (M. acuminata cv Grande Naine, M. acuminata spp. Banksii and M. balbisiana spp. Tani) were grown for 6 weeks under optimal conditions in hydroponics and were submitted to a wide range of Si supply (0–1.66 mM Si) to quantify the Si uptake and distribution in banana, as well as the effect of Si on banana growth. The level of Si supply did not affect plant growth, nor the rate of water and nutrient uptake. The rate of Si uptake and the Si concentration in plant tissues increased markedly with the Si supply. At the highest Si concentrations (1.66 mM), silicon absorption was essentially driven by mass flow of water (passive transport). However, at lower Si concentrations (0.02–0.83 mM), it was higher than its uptake by mass flow and caused the depletion of silicon in the nutrient solution, suggesting the existence of active processes in silicon transport. The distribution of silicon among shoot organs (pseudostem < petiole and midrib < young lamina < old leaf) confirmed the major role of transpiration in silicon accumulation and was not dependent on silicon supply. However, other mechanisms of transport might be operating in the roots and in the petiole and midrib of young leaves, whose silicon concentration was unexpectedly high at low Si supply (0.02 mM) compared to higher levels of Si. The three genotypes did not exhibit consistent differences in their responses to silicon supply.