Silicon (Si) is an element that plays an important
role in the physiology of plants (Epstein 1999).
Soluble Si occurs mainly as monosilicic acid (H4SiO4)
and is taken up by plants in this form, which may
polymerize and accumulate on epidermal tissues as
amorphous silica (SiO2  nH2O), known as phytoliths,
(Bakber and Shone 1966; Ma and Takahashi 2002). In
plants, both silicon phytoliths and silicic acid are
believed to enhance plant resistance against pests and
diseases (Yoshihara et al. 1979; Epstein 1999; Fawe
et al. 2001; Ma 2004).

Yoshihara T, Sogawa K, Pathak MD, Juliano BO, Sakamura
S. 1979. Soluble silicic acid as a sucking inhibitory
substance in rice against the brown plant hopper
(Delphacidae, Homoptera). Entomol Exp Appl. 26:314–
International Journal of Pest Management 297

Bakber DA, Shone MGT. 1966. The absorption of silica
from aqueous solutions by plants. J Exp Bot. 17:569–578.

Importance of Silicon and Mechanisms of Biosilica Formation in Plants

Biomed Res Int. 2015; 2015: 396010. 

Published online 2015 Jan 21. doi:  10.1155/2015/396010

PMCID: PMC4317640