Silicon enhances the tolerance of Poa annua to cadmium by inhibiting its absorption and oxidative stress
Agricultural soil contamination and subsequently crops still require alternative solutions to reduce associated environmental risks. The effects of silica application on alleviating cadmium (Cd) phytotoxicity in wheat plants were investigated in a 71-day pot experiment conducted with a historically contaminated agricultural soil. We used amorphous silica (ASi) that had been extracted from a diatomite mine for Si distribution at 0, 1, 10 and 15 ton ASi ha(-1). ASi applications increased plant biomass and plant Si concentrations, reduced the available Cd in the soil and the Cd translocation to shoots, while Cd was more efficiently sequestrated in roots. But ASi is limiting for Si uptake by plants. We conclude that significant plant-available Si in soil contributes to decreased Cd concentrations in wheat shoots and could be implemented in a general scheme aiming at controlling Cd concentrations in wheat.