The alleviation of zinc toxicity by silicon is related to zinc transport and antioxidative reactions in rice
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- Song, A., Li, P., Li, Z. et al. Plant Soil (2011) 344: 319. doi:10.1007/s11104-011-0749-3
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The objective of this study is to elucidate the roles of silicon (Si) in enhancing tolerance to excess zinc (Zn) in two contrasting rice (Oryza sativa L.) cultivars: i.e. cv. TY-167 (Zn-resistant) and cv. FYY-326 (Zn-sensitive). Root morphology, antioxidant defense reactions and lipid peroxidation, and histochemical staining were examined in rice plants grown in the nutrient solutions with normal (0.15 μM) and high (2 mM) Zn supply, without or with 1.5 mM Si. Significant inhibitory effects of high Zn treatment on plant growth were observed. Total root length (TRL), total root surface area (TRSA) and total root tip amount (TRTA) of both cultivars were decreased significantly in plants treated with high Zn, whereas these root parameters were significantly increased when Zn-stressed plants were supplied with 1.5 mM Si. Supply of Si also significantly decreased Zn concentration in shoots of both cultivars, indicating lower root-to-shoot translocation of Zn. Moreover, superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and asorbate peroxidase (APX) activities were increased, whereas malondialdehyde (MDA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) concentrations were decreased in Si-supplied plants of both Zn-sensitive and Zn-resistant rice cultivars exposed to Zn stress. These alleviative effects of Si, further confirmed by the histochemical staining methods, were more prominent in the Zn-resistant cultivar than in the Zn-sensitive one. Taken together, all these results suggest that Si-mediated alleviation of Zn toxicity is mainly attributed to Si-mediated antioxidant defense capacity and membrane integrity. The possible role of Si in reduction of root-to-shoot translocation of Zn can also be considered.