Vol.8 : Number 12
Silicon: A beneficial element for fruit crops

Author(s): Ankita Aman, Ruby Rani, Abha Kumari

Silicon is the second most abundant element in the soil next to oxygen and comprises 28% of its weight. However, still it is not recognized as an essential element for plant growth but the undeniable beneficial effects of this element on the growth and development have been observed in a wide variety of plant species. The role of silicon in plant biology is to reduce multiple stresses including biotic and abiotic stresses. In addition to naturally occurring soluble silicon in soil, many crops respond positively to additions of supplemental silicon. Plants, especially fruit crops, can take up large amounts of silicon where it contributes to their mechanical strength. Besides a structural role, silicon helps to protect plants from insect attack, disease and environmental stress. Silicon nutrition enhances host resistance to pests and diseases and also alleviates abiotic stresses thus protecting the crops. In the context of organic farming, the application of siliceous materials and silicon sources to not only agricultural crops but also to horticultural crops especially fruit crops may pave way for increasing the yield and reducing the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides. Despite of this, Si has not received the attention it requires. Hence it is the need of hour to proceed wider and bring together not just strictly plant physiological evidence but to include findings and experiences gathered by botanists, agronomists, horticulturists, plant pathologists, plant biochemists and still others. There is no justification for the disregard of Si in so much science of plant biology. The evidence is forcing that in the real world of plant life, the presence and role of Si matters. 

Key Word: Alleviates stresses, Monosilicic acid, Silica, Silicic acid  

Country: India