Visn. Hark. nac. agrar. univ., Ser. Biol., 2019, Issue 2 (47), pp. 23-38


O. M. Nedukha

Kholodny Institute of Botany
of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
(Kyiv, Ukraine)

Silicon is one of the most common chemical elements of the Earth's crust, which accumulates in the plant, plays a positive role in its growth and development under normal conditions, as well as under the influence of unfavorable environment. Literature data on transport, localization, and role of silicon in growth and development of agricultural crops and wild species, obtained by cytological, physiological, and molecular methods, are presented. It is shown that silicon in plant cells can be in three forms: soluble, associated with high-molecular organic compounds, or in pure amorphous or crystalline form. Silicon ions can bind to proteins, amino acids, polysaccharides, polyphenols, lipids and other substances. The role of silicon in mechanisms of plant resistance and plasticity to the action of many abiotic and biotic factors was shown. It has been established that plant growth under conditions of drought and soil salinity leads to active absorption of silicon from soil by roots and an increase in its content in leaves. This helps to reduce transpiration, maintain optimal water balance in plant, enhance photosynthesis, and activate the synthesis of stress proteins under adverse conditions. Silicon also leads to increased expression of genes of enzymes involved in synthesis of osmotically active substances and various secondary metabolites with protective properties. Of particular importance for resistance of plants is the participation of silicon in processes of strengthening cell walls. Polymerization of silicic acid in apoplast leads to the formation of an amorphous silicon barrier, which prevents penetration of toxic heavy metal ions and aluminum. It is emphasized the need for greater attention to the study of this element’s role in adaptation of plants to adverse anthropogenic and climatic influences.

Key words: silicon, tolerance and plasticity of plant, drought, salinization, biotic stress



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