Silicon (Si) is a micronutrient. Its amount has been found to vary from plant to plant. Grasses contain much higher Si than Arabidopsis. Interestingly, Si in plants has been shown to enhance their tolerance against various abiotic and biotic stresses. Silicon induced resistance in rice against pathogenic fungi Magnaporthe grisea and Rhizoctonia solini have been well demonstrated. In addition, Si also plays an important role in providing tolerance to heavy metal toxicity and water stress. Systematic identification and characterization of Si-responsive genes responsive genes and proteins will help in better understanding the underlying mechanism of Si-induced tolerance in plants. High-throughput technologies, such as transcriptomics and proteomics, have tremendous potential in establishing the Si-responsive genes and proteins network in order to design next generation crop plants. Here, we will focus on the role of Si in conferring tolerance in plants against various environmental stressors. We highlight the importance of genomics and potential of proteomics and metabolomics in investigating Si responses in plants and discuss its suitability in crop improvement.
Keywords: Silicon, biotic stress, abiotic stress, crop plant, rice, minireview
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