The Plant Pathology Journal 2012;28(2):164-171.
Published online June 30, 2012.
Effect of Foliar and Root Application of Silicon Against Rice Blast Fungus in MR219 Rice Variety
Farnaz Abed-ashtiani, Jugah-bin Kadir, Ahmad-bin Selamat, Ahmad Husni Bin-mohd Hanif, Abbas Nasehi
Rice blast disease caused by Magnaporthe grisea (Hebert) Barr [teleomorph] is one of the most devastating diseases in rice plantation areas. Silicon is considered as a useful element for a large variety of plants. Rice variety MR219 was grown in the glasshouse to investigate the function of silicon in conferring resistance against blast. Silica gel was applied to soil while sodium silicate was used as foliar spray at the rates of 0, 60, 120, 180 g/5 kg soil and 0, 1, 2, 3 ml/l respectively. The treatments were arranged in a completely randomized design. Disease severity and silicon content of leaves were compared between the non-amended controls and rice plants receiving the different rates and sources of silicon. Silicon at all rates of application significantly (α = 0.05) reduced the severity of disease with highest reduction (75%) recorded in treatments receiving 120 g of silica gel. SEM/EDX observations demonstrated a significant difference in weight concentration of silicon in silica cells on the leaf epidermis between silicon treated (25.79%) and non treated plants (7.87%) indicating that Si-fertilization resulted in higher deposition of Si in silica cells in comparison with non-treated plants. Application of silicon also led to a significant increase in Si contents of leaves. Contrast procedures indicated higher efficiency of silica gel in comparison to sodium silicate in almost all parameters assessed. The results suggest that mitigated levels of disease were associated with silicification and fortification of leaf epidermal cells through silicon fertilization.
Key Words: blast, Magnaporthe grisea, rice, silicon

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