Exogenous application of silicon at the boot stage decreases accumulation of cadmium in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grains

Abstract

A pot experiment was conducted to assess role of added silicon (Si) in alleviating cadmium-induced oxidative stress in wheat cultivars (AARI-2011, Cd-sensitive and FSD-2008, Cd-tolerant). Plants were exposed to different levels of CdCl2 (0, 25, 50, and 75 μM Cd/kg) along with sodium silicate (0 and 1.5 mM) at the boot stage. Cadmium stress resulted in a marked decline in various growth attributes, photosynthetic pigments, and the activities of some enzymatic antioxidants, particularly in Cd-sensitive wheat cultivar. Application of Si reduced Cd-mediated oxidative stress and increased photosynthetic pigments and proline contents in both wheat cultivars. Although Si application affected the shoot and grain Cd2+ concentrations differently in both cultivars, it decreased Cd2+ concentrations in the grains in both wheat cultivars. However, at higher Cd2+ concentrations, Si was very effective in decreasing Cd2+ concentrations in the grains of Cd-tolerant cultivar. The alleviatory effects of Si on Cd2+ concentrations in grain could be attributed to the altered Cd2+ uptake and translocation, particularly at higher Cd2+ concentrations in both wheat cultivars. The effectiveness of Si to reduce grain-Cd2+ concentrations in diverse wheat cultivars suggested its use as soil amendments in the Cd-polluted environments.

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Acknowledgments

This work was partially supported by Higher Education Commission (HEC), Islamabad, Pakistan through Project grant No. PM-IPFP/HRD/HEC/2011/0579).

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Correspondence to Muhammad Arslan Ashraf.

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Hussain, I., Ashraf, M.A., Rasheed, R. et al. Exogenous application of silicon at the boot stage decreases accumulation of cadmium in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grains. Braz. J. Bot 38, 223–234 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40415-014-0126-6

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Keywords

  • Antioxidant enzymes
  • Cadmium
  • Grain yield
  • Silicon
  • Wheat