3 Biotech

, 9:73 | Cite as

Role of silicon in plant stress tolerance: opportunities to achieve a sustainable cropping system

  • Sajad Majeed ZargarEmail author
  • Reetika Mahajan
  • Javaid A. Bhat
  • Muslima Nazir
  • Rupesh DeshmukhEmail author
Review Article


Silicon (Si) being considered as a non-essential element for plant growth and development finds its role in providing several benefits to the plant, especially under stress conditions. Thus, Si can be regarded as “multi-talented” quasi-essential element. It is the most abundant element present in the earth’s crust after oxygen predominantly as a silicon dioxide (SiO2), a form plants cannot utilize. Plants take up Si into their root from the soil in the plant-available forms (PAF) such as silicic acid or mono silicic acid [Si(OH)4 or H4SiO4]. Nevertheless, besides being abundantly available, the PAF of Si in the soil is mostly a limiting factor. To improve Si-uptake and derived benefits therein in plants, understanding the molecular basis of Si-uptake and transport within the tissues has great importance. Numerous Si-transporters (influx and efflux) have been identified in both monocot and dicot plants. A difference in the root anatomy of both monocot and dicot plants leads to a difference in the Si-uptake mechanism. In the present review, Si-transporters identified in different species, their evolution and the Si-uptake mechanism have been addressed. Further, the role of Si in biotic and abiotic stress tolerance has been discussed. The information provided here will help to plan the research in a better way to develop more sustainable cropping system by harnessing Si-derived benefits.


Silicon Crop plants Abiotic stress Biotic stress Sustainability 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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© King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Plant BiotechnologySher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of KashmirSrinagarIndia
  2. 2.School of BiotechnologySher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of JammuJammuIndia
  3. 3.Agri-Biotechnology DivisionNational Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI)MohaliIndia

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