Silicon in vascular plants: uptake, transport and its influence on mineral stress under acidic conditions

Planta. 2015 Jul;242(1):23-37. doi: 10.1007/s00425-015-2333-1. Epub 2015 May 26.


So far, considerable advances have been achieved in understanding the mechanisms of Si uptake and transport in vascular plants. This review presents a comprehensive update about this issue, but also provides the new insights into the role of Si against mineral stresses that occur in acid soils. Such information could be helpful to understand both the differential Si uptake ability as well as the benefits of this mineral element on plants grown under acidic conditions. Silicon (Si) has been widely recognized as a beneficial element for many plant species, especially under stress conditions. In the last few years, great efforts have been made to elucidate the mechanisms involved in uptake and transport of Si by vascular plants and recently, different Si transporters have been identified. Several researches indicate that Si can alleviate various mineral stresses in plants growing under acidic conditions, including aluminium (Al) and manganese (Mn) toxicities as well as phosphorus (P) deficiency all of which are highly detrimental to crop production. This review presents recent findings concerning the influence of uptake and transport of Si on mineral stress under acidic conditions because a knowledge of this interaction provides the basis for understanding the role of Si in mitigating mineral stress in acid soils. Currently, only four Si transporters have been identified and there is little information concerning the response of Si transporters under stress conditions. More investigations are therefore needed to establish whether there is a relationship between Si transporters and the benefits of Si to plants subjected to mineral stress. Evidence presented suggests that Si supply and its subsequent accumulation in plant tissues could be exploited as a strategy to improve crop productivity on acid soils.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acids / pharmacology*
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Minerals / metabolism*
  • Plant Vascular Bundle / drug effects
  • Plant Vascular Bundle / metabolism*
  • Silicon / pharmacology*
  • Stress, Physiological / drug effects*


  • Acids
  • Minerals
  • Silicon