Silicon nutrition mitigates the negative impacts of iron toxicity on rice photosynthesis and grain yield

Martielly S. dos Santos, Lílian M.V.P. Sanglard, Marcela L. Barbosa, Filipe A. Namorato, Danilo C. de Melo, William C.G. Franco, Junior P. Pérez-Molina, Samuel C.V. Martins, Fábio M. DaMatta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Excess iron (Fe) is commonly observed in wetland rice (Oryza sativa L.) plants, impairing crop growth and productivity. Some information suggests that silicon (Si) can reduce Fe content in leaves and roots of rice (vegetative phase), but nothing is known if Si could mitigate the effects of Fe toxicity on rice production and photosynthesis. Here, we assessed the role of Si in alleviating the well-known effects of Fe toxicity on nutritional imbalances, biomass accumulation, photosynthesis and grain yield using two rice cultivars having differential abilities to tolerate excess Fe. Plants were hydroponically grown under two Fe levels (25 μM or 5 mM) and the nutrient solutions were amended with Si (0 or 2 mM). Under excess Fe were detected (i) nutritional deficiencies, especially of calcium and magnesium in leaves; (ii) negligible changes in grain nutritional composition, independently of Si application; (iii) decreases in net photosynthetic rates, stomatal conductance and electron transport rate, in parallel to decreased grain yield components (total grain biomass, 1000-grain mass, percentage of filled grains, number of grains per plant and harvest index), especially in the Fe-sensitive cultivar. These impairments were partially reversed by the application of Si. Results also suggest that Si alleviated the negative impacts of Fe on spikelet sterility. In summary, we conclude that the use of Si can be recommended as an effective management strategy to reduce the negative impacts of Fe toxicity on rice photosynthetic performance and crop yield.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110008
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Silicon nutrition mitigates the negative impacts of iron toxicity on rice photosynthesis and grain yield'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this