Silicon mobilisation by root-released carboxylates

Félix de Tombeur, Jean Thomas Cornelis, Hans Lambers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Plants have evolved numerous strategies to acquire poorly available nutrients from soil, including the release of carboxylates from their roots. Silicon (Si) release from mineral dissolution increases in the presence of chelating substances, and recent evidence shows that leaf [Si] increases markedly in old phosphorus (P)-depleted soils, where many species exhibit carboxylate-releasing strategies, compared with younger P-richer soils. Here, we propose that root-released carboxylates, and more generally rhizosphere processes, play an overlooked role in plant Si accumulation by increasing soil Si mobilisation from minerals. We suggest that Si mobilisation is costly in terms of carbon but becomes cheaper if those costs are already met to acquire poorly available P. Uptake of the mobilised Si by roots will then depend on whether they express Si transporters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1116-1125
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


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