Optimal level of silicon for maize (Zea mays L. c.v. AMADEO) growth in nutrient solution under controlled conditions.
- Author(s): Bakhat, Hafiz Faiq;
- Hanstein, Stefan;
- Schubert, Sven
- et al.
Silicon (Si) is the second most abundant element in the earth's crust and plants vary in their response to Si. In order to investigate the effect of Si as Na2SiO3 fertilization on maize hybrid AMADEO growth in hydroponics, two experiments were conducted. In the first experiment, plants were supplied with two levels of Si; control (0 mM Si) and +Si (3 mM Si). In the second experiment, plants were supplied with a wide range of Si concentrations in nutrient solution in seven treatments (0, 0.4, 0.8, 1.2, 1.6, 2.0 and 3.0 mM Si). In the first experiment, no significant differences were observed in shoot and root biomass but reduced leaf area was observed after Si application. In the second experiment, plants supplied with 0.8 and 1.2 mM Si produced a significantly higher amount of fresh and dry biomass and also increased plant height and leaf area of youngest and fully developed young leaf. It is concluded that 1 mM Si represents an optimum concentration for maize nutrition in hydroponics.