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Plant Signal Behav. 2009 Jan;4(1):1-3.

Probing the mechanisms of silicon-mediated pathogen resistance.

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Key Laboratory of Ecological Agriculture of Ministry of Agriculture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China.


Silicon is the second most abundant mineral element in soil, it has important role in alleviating various environmental stresses and enhancing plant resistance against pathogen, but the exact mechanism by which Si mediates pathogen resistance remains unclear. One of the resistance mechanisms is related to silicon deposition in leaf that acts as a physical barrier to hinder pathogen penetration. But more evidence show that silicon can induce defense responses that are functionally similar to systemic acquired resistance, Si-treated plants can significantly increase antioxidant enzyme activities and the production of antifungal compounds such as phenolic metabolism product, phytoalexins and pathogenesis-related proteins etc. Molecular and biochemical detections show that Si can activate the expression of defense-related genes and may play important role in the transduction of plant stress signal such as salicylic acid, jasmonic acid and ethylene.


biotic stress; induced resistance; pathogen; signal transduction; silicon

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