Plant and Soil

, Volume 344, Issue 1–2, pp 319–333 | Cite as

The alleviation of zinc toxicity by silicon is related to zinc transport and antioxidative reactions in rice

  • Alin Song
  • Ping Li
  • Zhaojun Li
  • Fenliang Fan
  • Miroslav Nikolic
  • Yongchao LiangEmail author
Regular Article


The objective of this study is to elucidate the roles of silicon (Si) in enhancing tolerance to excess zinc (Zn) in two contrasting rice (Oryza sativa L.) cultivars: i.e. cv. TY-167 (Zn-resistant) and cv. FYY-326 (Zn-sensitive). Root morphology, antioxidant defense reactions and lipid peroxidation, and histochemical staining were examined in rice plants grown in the nutrient solutions with normal (0.15 μM) and high (2 mM) Zn supply, without or with 1.5 mM Si. Significant inhibitory effects of high Zn treatment on plant growth were observed. Total root length (TRL), total root surface area (TRSA) and total root tip amount (TRTA) of both cultivars were decreased significantly in plants treated with high Zn, whereas these root parameters were significantly increased when Zn-stressed plants were supplied with 1.5 mM Si. Supply of Si also significantly decreased Zn concentration in shoots of both cultivars, indicating lower root-to-shoot translocation of Zn. Moreover, superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and asorbate peroxidase (APX) activities were increased, whereas malondialdehyde (MDA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) concentrations were decreased in Si-supplied plants of both Zn-sensitive and Zn-resistant rice cultivars exposed to Zn stress. These alleviative effects of Si, further confirmed by the histochemical staining methods, were more prominent in the Zn-resistant cultivar than in the Zn-sensitive one. Taken together, all these results suggest that Si-mediated alleviation of Zn toxicity is mainly attributed to Si-mediated antioxidant defense capacity and membrane integrity. The possible role of Si in reduction of root-to-shoot translocation of Zn can also be considered.


Lipid peroxidation Oxidative stress Rice Zn stress 



This research is jointly supported by Ministry of Science and Technology (2006BAD02A15), the Distinguished Talent Program from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences granted to Y. C. Liang, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Approved No. 40701163). M.N. thanks the Serbian Ministry of Science and Technology (Grant No. 173028).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alin Song
    • 1
  • Ping Li
    • 1
  • Zhaojun Li
    • 1
  • Fenliang Fan
    • 1
  • Miroslav Nikolic
    • 2
  • Yongchao Liang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Ministry of Agriculture Key Laboratory of Crop Nutrition and Fertilization, Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional PlanningChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute for Multidisciplinary ResearchUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeRepublic of Serbia

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