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Silicon alleviates long-term copper toxicity and influences gene expression in Nicotiana tabacum
- Flora, Christopher, Khandekar, Sushant, Boldt, Jennifer, Leisner, Scott
- Journal of plant nutrition 2019 v.42 no.8 pp. 864-878
- Nicotiana tabacum, biosynthesis, copper, ethylene, gene expression, growth retardation, leaves, plant growth, roots, shoots, silicon, stress tolerance, toxicity
- Silicon (Si) is beneficial for plant growth and aids in stress tolerance. In this study, the effects of Si on long-term copper (Cu) toxicity in the low Si accumulator Nicotiana tabacum were evaluated. Silicon supplementation alleviated growth inhibition in roots and shoots of N. tabacum exposed to Cu toxicity. Alleviation of Cu toxicity correlated with increased Si accumulation in roots and leaves, suggesting N. tabacum contains a stress-regulated mechanism for Si transport. Root Cu concentration decreased in Si-supplemented plants exposed to Cu toxicity. Interestingly, Copper Transporter 1 (COPT1) expression decreased in roots of Si-supplemented plants exposed to Cu toxicity, which may contribute to Cu uptake reduction. Decreases in ethylene (ET) biosynthetic gene expression were previously implicated in Si-mediated stress alleviation. In the present study, Si-mediated alleviation of Cu toxicity corresponded with increased ET biosynthetic gene expression.