Effects of silicon in thenutrient solution for three horticultural plant families on the vegetative growth, cuticle, and protection against Botrytis cinerea

Judith Pozo, Miguel Urrestarazu, Isidro Morales, Jessica Sánchez, Milagrosa Santos, Fernando Dianez, JUAN-EUGENIO ALVARO MARTINEZ-CARRASCO

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The silicon (Si) percentage in the dry matter of plants is between 0.1% and 10%, and even though its role in the metabolism of plants is not absolutely clear, Si’s positive effects on plant nutrition and plant protection against both biotic and abiotic stress are well documented. However, Si is not considered to be an essential element, so it is not always present in nutrient solutions. In this paper, an experiment was carried out in the University of Almeria’s greenhouse with hydroponic lettuce, tomato, pepper, melon, and cucumber plants. A standard nutrient solution was used as a control sample and was fertigated with Si. During the four-true-leaf seedling stage, various plant growth parameters were measured, including the dry weight and the wet weight as well as the foliar surface and the cuticle thickness of both the leaf and the stem. Additionally, in the lettuce, tomato, and pepper plants, the effect of the use of Si in the nutrient solution on the protection against the pathogen Botrytis cinerea was determined by measuring the penetration of the pathogen through the cuticle and the extension of the fungal infection by using leaf discs. The results suggest that all of the studied parameters, and both the cuticle thickness and the epidermis thickness, were increased by more than 10% on average for all of the plants. In the lettuce, tomato, and pepper plants, a beneficial effect against B. cinerea was observed when the nutrient solution containing Si was used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1447-1452
Number of pages6
JournalHortScience
Volume50
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2015

Keywords

  • Cucumber
  • Fertigation
  • Lettuce
  • Melon
  • Pepper
  • Tomato

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of silicon in thenutrient solution for three horticultural plant families on the vegetative growth, cuticle, and protection against Botrytis cinerea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this