Plant and Soil

, Volume 285, Issue 1–2, pp 333–345 | Cite as

Silicon Isotopic Fractionation by Banana (Musa spp.) Grown in a Continuous Nutrient Flow Device

  • S. Opfergelt
  • D. Cardinal
  • C. Henriet
  • X. Draye
  • L. André
  • B. Delvaux
Original Paper


The determination of the plant-induced Si-isotopic fractionation is a promising tool to better quantify their role in the continental Si cycle. Si-isotopic signatures of the different banana plant parts and Si source were measured, providing the isotopic fractionation factor between plant and source. Banana plantlets (Musa acuminata Colla, cv Grande Naine) were grown in hydroponics at variable Si supplies (0.08, 0.42, 0.83 and 1.66 mM Si). Si-isotopic compositions were determined on a multicollector plasma source mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) operating in dry plasma mode. Results are expressed as δ29Si relative to the NBS28 standard, with an average precision of ± 0.08‰ (±2σD). The fractionation factor 29ε between bulk banana plantlets and source solution is −0.40 ± 0.11‰. This confirms that plants fractionate Si isotopes by depleting the source solution in 28Si. The intra-plant fractionation Δ29Si between roots and shoots amounts to −0.21 ± 0.08‰. Si-isotopic compositions of the various plant parts indicate that heavy isotopes discrimination occurs at three levels in the plant (at the root epidermis, for xylem loading and for xylem unloading). At each step, preferential crossing of light isotopes leaves a heavier solution, and produces a lighter solution. Si-isotopic fractionation processes are further discussed in relation with Si uptake and transport in plants. These findings have important implications on the study of continental Si cycle.


Musa Phytolith Silicon Si cycle Si-isotopic fractionation Si transport in plant 


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We are grateful to A. Iserentant, C. Givron, P. Populaire (UCL), L. Monin, N. Dahkani, H. Doutrelepont (MRAC), J. de Jong and N. Mattielli (ULB) for their technical and scientific support. We thank J. Proost and L. Reylandt (UCL) for the SEM. This manuscript has greatly benefited from the constructive comm ents of two anonymous reviewers. This work was supported by the FNRS research convention No. 2.4629.05 and by the “Fonds Spécial de Recherche” (FSR) 2005 of the “Université catholique de Louvain”. S.O. is supported by the “Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique” (FNRS) of Belgium as a Research Fellow, D.C. by the Federal Belgian Science Policy, C.H. by the “Fonds pour la formation à la Recherche dans l’Industrie et dans l’Agriculture” (FRIA) of Belgium, and X.D. is a Research Associate of the FNRS. L.A. thanks the FNRS for its financial support in the frame of the FRFC project #2.4512.00.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Opfergelt
    • 1
    • 2
  • D. Cardinal
    • 2
  • C. Henriet
    • 1
  • X. Draye
    • 3
  • L. André
    • 2
  • B. Delvaux
    • 1
  1. 1.Soil Science UnitUniversité catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Geology and MineralogyMusée Royal de l’Afrique CentraleTervurenBelgium
  3. 3.Crop Physiology and Plant BreedingUniversité catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

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