Plant and Soil

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 207–220 | Cite as

Studies of silica in the oat plant

I. Chemical and physical properties of the silica
  • L. H. P. Jones
  • A. A. Milne


Silica was separated from the oat plant by wet-way ashing and by dry-way ashing, examined under the petrological microscope and analyzed by chemical, X-ray and thermal techniques. Surface areas were also determined.

Silica separated by wet-way ashing is representative of the solid silica of the plant. It is entirely opal with refractive index (nNa) ranging from 1.427 to 1.440 and surface area of 14.4 m2/g.

Dry-way ashing produced changes in the silica of the plant. Much greater amounts of Na, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, and Fe were combined in insoluble forms with accompanying changes in the physical properties of the silica. The most notable of these were the crystallization of a small proportion of opal to cristobalite, an increase in refractive index, and a large decrease in surface area.


Crystallization Refractive Index Plant Physiology Small Proportion Large Decrease 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Baker, G., Opal phytoliths in some Victorian Soils and “red rain” residues. Australian J. Botany7, 64–87 (1959).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Baker, G., A contrast in the opal phytolith assemblages of two Victorian soils. Australian J. Botany7, 88–96 (1959).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Baker, G., Hook-shaped opal phytoliths in the epidermal cells of oats. Australian J. Botany8, 69–74 (1960).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Baker, G., Jones, L. H. P., and Wardrop, I. D., Opal phytoliths and mineral particles in the rumen of the sheep. Australian J. Agr. Research12, 462–472 (1961).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Beavers, A. H. and Stephen, I., Some features of the distribution of plant opal in Illinois soils. Soil Sci.86, 1–5 (1958).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Florke, O. W., Zur Frage des “Hoch” — Cristobalit in Opalen, Bentoniten und Glasern. Neues Jahrb. Mineral. Monathsh.10, 217–223v (1955).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Franks, P. C. and Swineford, A., Character and genesis of massive opal in Kimball Member, Ogallala formation, Scott County, Kansas. J. Sediment. Petrol.29, 186–196 (1959).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hill, G. V. and Roy, R., Silica structure studies VI. On tridymites. Trans. Brit. Ceram. Soc.57, 496–510 (1958).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kanno, I. and Arimura, S., Plant opal in Japanese soils. Soil and Plant Food (Tokyo)4, 62–67 (1958).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Konta, J., Voda v nerostech. Sborník ústred. ústavu geol.19, 137–152 (1952).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lanning, F. C., Ponnaiya, B. W. X., and Crumpton, C. F., The chemical nature of silica in plants. Plant Physiol.33, 339–343 (1958).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lanning, F. C., Nature and distribution of silica in strawberry plants. Proc. Am. Soc. Hort. Sci.76, 349–358 (1960).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lanning, F. C., Silica and calcium in black raspberries. Proc. Am. Soc. Hort. Sci.77, 367–371 (1961).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Methods of Analysis of the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists. 9th Ed., A.O.A.C., Washington, D.C. (1960).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Papailhav, J., Sur le formation par chauffage de tridymite et cristabolite du silice amorphe precipitée. Compt. rend.245, 1443–1445 (1957).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Parry, D. W. and Smithson, F., Detection of opaline silica in grass leaves. Nature179, 975–976 (1957).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Parry, D. W. and Smithson, F., Techniques for studying opaline silica in grass leaves. Ann. Botany22, 543–549 (1958).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Piper, C. S., The use of perchloric acid in the digestion of plant materials. Australian Chem. Inst. J. and Proc.6, 421–427 (1939).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Piper, C. S., Soil and Plant Analysis. 1st Ed. The University of Adelaide, Adelaide (1942) and Interscience Publishers Inc., New York (1950).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Smithson, F., Plant Opal in soil. Nature178, 107 (1956).Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Smithson, F., Grass opal in British soils. J. Soil Sci.9, 148–154 (1958).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Yoshida, S., Onishi, Y., and Kitagishi, K., The chemical nature of silicon in rice plant. Soil and Plant Food (Tokyo)5, 23–27 (1959).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague 1963

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. H. P. Jones
    • 1
  • A. A. Milne
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.C.S.I.R.O., Division of Plant Industry, c/o School of AgricultureUniversity of MelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.C.S.I.R.O., Division of Plant Industry and University Women's CollegeUniversity of MelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations