Plant and Soil

, Volume 419, Issue 1–2, pp 447–455 | Cite as

Silicon increases phosphorus (P) uptake by wheat under low P acid soil conditions

  • Ljiljana Kostic
  • Nina Nikolic
  • Dragana Bosnic
  • Jelena Samardzic
  • Miroslav NikolicEmail author
Regular Article


Background and aims

Although silicon (Si) is known to improve plant growth under low phosphorus (P) conditions, the in planta mechanisms responsible for this effect are still unknown. Here, we investigated the role of Si on P uptake along with the expression of Pi transporters in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grown in low P acid soil in comparison with P fertilization and liming.


A combined approach was performed including analyses of rhizosphere soil, tissue P content, the expression of the root Pi transporter genes (TaPHT1.1 and TaPHT1.2), and the root exudation of citrate and malate.


Supply of Si in a form of Na2SiO3 increased shoot P concentration to an adequate level in the range of P-fertilized plants. Silicon ameliorated low soil pH and high Al3+ comparable to the effect of liming. The in planta effect of Si on up-regulating the expression of TaPHT1.1 and TaPHT1.2 was several fold higher and consequently P uptake doubled compared to both P fertilization and liming. In addition, Si directly stimulated root Pi acquisition by prominently increasing both malate and citrate exudation rate.


Application of Si increased root exudation of organic acids that mobilize Pi in the rhizosphere and up-regulated Pi transporters in wheat roots.


Acid soil Phosphorus uptake PHT1 transporters Rhizosphere Root exudates Silicon Wheat (Triticum aestivum



This work was supported by the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development (OI-173028 to M.N. and in a part OI-173005).

Supplementary material

11104_2017_3364_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (61 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 61 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Multidisciplinary ResearchUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  2. 2.Institute of Molecular Genetics and Genetic EngineeringUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia

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