Journal of Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 1587–1597 | Cite as

Interactive Effect of Silicon (Si) and Salicylic Acid (SA) in Maize Seedlings and Their Mechanisms of Cadmium (Cd) Toxicity Alleviation

  • Swati Singh
  • Vijay Pratap Singh
  • Sheo Mohan Prasad
  • Shivesh Sharma
  • Naleeni Ramawat
  • Nawal Kishore Dubey
  • Durgesh Kumar TripathiEmail author
  • Devendra Kumar ChauhanEmail author


The present study has been conducted to evaluate the impact of silicon (Si) and salicylic acid (SA) in the regulation of Cd-induced toxicity in maize seedlings. Cadmium (Cd: 100 µM) significantly reduced root and shoot fresh weight and length, photosynthetic pigments, total soluble protein content and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters. Cadmium decreased root and shoot length by 23 and 19% and fresh weight by 27 and 24%, respectively when compared to their respective controls. Similarly, total chlorophyll, carotenoids and total soluble protein were decreased by 21, 18 and 28%, respectively by Cd. In contrast, the addition of SA (500 µM) and Si (10 µM), and their combination (SA + Si) together with Cd treatment successfully ameliorated Cd-induced harmful impacts on studied parameters as SA and Si alone and in combination reduced Cd accumulation and oxidative stresses and thus refurbish the damages. Cd significantly stimulated activity of superoxide dismutase while inhibited activities of ascorbate peroxidase (APX), glutathione reductase (GR) and dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR), and declined total ascorbate and glutathione contents. In contrast, the addition of SA and Si alone and in combination stimulated the activities of APX, GR and DHAR and significantly increased levels of total ascorbate and glutathione. In conclusion, the present study suggested that although SA and Si both alone are able to alleviate Cd-induced toxicity in maize seedlings, but their combination was the most effective in nullifying Cd-induced toxicity in maize seedlings.


Salicylic acid (SA) Silicon Antioxidants Oxidative stress Chlorophyll fluorescence 



Salicylic acid


Reduced ascorbate


Ascorbate peroxidase




Dehydroascorbate reductase


Maximum photochemical efficiency of PS II


Glutathione reductase


Hydrogen peroxide




Non-photochemical quenching


Photochemical quenching


Reactive oxygen species




Superoxide dismutase


Superoxide radical



Swati Singh is thankful to the University Grants Commission, New Delhi for providing D. Phil Fellowship. The authors are thankful to UGC for providing FIST Grant to the Department of Botany University of Allahabad.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declared that they do not have any conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Swati Singh
    • 1
  • Vijay Pratap Singh
    • 2
  • Sheo Mohan Prasad
    • 3
  • Shivesh Sharma
    • 4
  • Naleeni Ramawat
    • 5
  • Nawal Kishore Dubey
    • 6
  • Durgesh Kumar Tripathi
    • 5
    Email author
  • Devendra Kumar Chauhan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.D D Pant Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory, Department of BotanyUniversity of AllahabadAllahabadIndia
  2. 2.Department of BotanyCMP Degree College, A Constituent Post Graduate College of University of AllahabadAllahabadIndia
  3. 3.Ranjan Plant Physiology and Biochemistry Laboratory, Department of BotanyUniversity of AllahabadAllahabadIndia
  4. 4.Department of BiotechnologyMotilal Nehru National Institute of Technology AllahabadAllahabadIndia
  5. 5.Amity Institute of Organic AgricultureAmity University Uttar PradeshNoidaIndia
  6. 6.Center of Advanced Study in BotanyBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

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