Improving Plant Resistance to Abiotic Stress with Converge
There is general agreement that silicon is biochemically active — interacting with numerous enzymes, hormones and proteins to alter plants’ metabolism and physiological activities — particularly in plants subject to stress conditions.
Silicon’s also has the unique ability to modulate key areas of the stress transduction signal response pathways to effect increases in enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant production –mitigating the negative effects of many stresses such as heat, cold, drought, UV-B rays, salinity and metal toxicity.
Improving Tissue Strength
Absorbed is transported to a number of locations in the plant. Silicon has been found to strengthen outer tissues of the plant (stronger branches and stems) and reduce cuticular transpiration in leaves as well as creating barriers that improve plant resistance to foliar diseases and insects. Silicon also increases cell wall elasticity during elongation (growth) followed by strengthening of wall tissues.
Silicon has also been proven to increase chlorophyll production and photosynthesis when plants are subject to stress conditions as well as reduces manganese (Mn) and iron (Fe) toxicity.
Improving Plant Resistance to Salinity with Converge
One of the most important mechanisms of plant resistance to salinity is to control Na+ uptake and prevent its excessive accumulation in plant tissues. Silicon considerably lowers the concentration of potentially toxic Na+ ions and prevents their translocation to aerial parts of plants by blocking pathways to the xylem.
Summary of Plant Benefits
To summarize, most researchers point to the following areas where silicon made improvements at the physiological and whole-plant levels:
- Structural enhancements in cell walls, xylem and epidermal regions of turfgrass
- Regulation of gene expression to overcome negative effects of abiotic stress
- Modulation of response pathways to increase antioxidant production
- Immobilization and neutralization of toxic metals