Editorial: Role of silicon in plants

Rupesh K. Deshmukh, Jian F. Ma, Richard R. Bélanger

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Silicon (Si), the second most abundant element on earth surface, is rapidly gaining attention in agriculture because of its many beneficial effects for plants. Hundreds of studies performed with several plant species and under diverse growth conditions have demonstrated the favorable benefits of Si fertilization, particularly in alleviating biotic and abiotic stresses (Fauteux et al., 2005, 2006). Ever since the breakthrough discovery of genes explaining the molecular mechanisms of Si uptake and transport in plants a decade ago (Ma et al., 2006, 2007), many research endeavors have tried to explain how and why Si presence in plants confers advantages. The most challenging aspect consists in defining a mechanistic model explaining the precise mechanisms involved in Si-derived stress tolerance. While many hypotheses have been proposed, there is no conclusive evidence showing exactly how Si plays a role in stress tolerance. Current efforts to resolve this enigma involve comprehensive analyses of the effect of Si supplementation on various abiotic and biotic stresses, biochemical and physiological parameters, mineral co-localization and distribution, and transcriptomic and metabolomic responses. At the same time, research activities are focused on improving Si fertilization and Si sources for crop cultivation. The present research topic compiles many aspects helpful to generate a better understanding required for the optimal utilization of Si to promote sustainable development and climate-adapted cropping.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1858
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Publication statusPublished - Oct 25 2017


  • Abiotic stress tolerance
  • Biotic stress tolerance
  • Physiology
  • Silicon uptake
  • Transport dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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