The role of silicon fertilization in the synthesis of phenolic compounds on chestnut plants infected with P. cinnamomi and C. parasitica

  • Andreia Carneiro-CarvalhoEmail author
  • Alfredo Aires
  • Rosário Anjos
  • Luís Martins
  • Teresa Pinto
  • Francisco Peixoto
  • José Gomes-Laranjo
Original Article


Silicon is considered a beneficial nutrient for agricultural crops by conferred protection against diseases. The antifungal effect of the phenolic extracts from chestnut plants treated with 0, 5, 7.5 and 10 mM SiK® was tested in vitro. The results showed that the phenolic extracts from 10 mM SiK®-treated plants presented strongest inhibition zone against P. cinnamomi (10.56 cm2) and C. parasitica (11.2 cm2) in vitro assays at 8 days after incubation. The highest concentration of Si induced the increase in phenylalanine ammonia-lyase and polyphenol oxidase activity in chestnut plants infected with P. cinnamomi and C. parasitica. In addition, the phenolic extracts from Si-treated leaves were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC–DAD) and the compounds identified were gallic acid, gallic acid derivate, vescalagin, castalagin, 1-O-Galloyl castalagin, chlorogenic acid, coumaric acid, syringic acid, vanillic acid, ellagic acid, quercitin-3-O-rutinoside and apigenin. The main phenolic compounds found in Si-treated plants (10 mM SiK®) were castalagin, gallic acid and its derivatives with an increase of 463%, 244% and 274%, respectively, when compared with untreated plants which can be correlated with the induction of resistance in chestnut plants against phytopathogenic agents studied. The present study provides the evident antifungal activity of the phenolic extracts from plants treated with concentrations of 7.5 and 10 mM SiK® in vitro assays suggesting that Si application can be useful in the future to control the ink disease and chestnut blight in this crop.


Antifungal effect Defense responses Fungitoxic effect Pathogen and signal 



This work was supported by National Funds by FCT—Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, under the Project UID/AGR/04033/2019.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Deutsche Phytomedizinische Gesellschaft 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreia Carneiro-Carvalho
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alfredo Aires
    • 1
  • Rosário Anjos
    • 1
  • Luís Martins
    • 2
  • Teresa Pinto
    • 1
  • Francisco Peixoto
    • 3
  • José Gomes-Laranjo
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology and Environment Department, Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences (CITAB)University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto DouroVila RealPortugal
  2. 2.Forest Sciences and Landscape Architecture Department (CIFAP)University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto DouroVila RealPortugal
  3. 3.Vila Real Chemistry Center (CQVR)University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto DouroVila RealPortugal

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