Silicon and Insect Management

By: Dr. M.D. Laing and A. Adandonon, University of KwaZulu-Natal

A review of literature and trial work by Dr M.D. Laing and A. Adandonon from the University of KwaZulu-Natal showed that:

  • Silicon is a “functional” plant nutrient and that silicon application can significantly enhance insect pest resistance in plant with consequent yield increases
  •  Silicon is “widely considered as an activator by stimulating the express of a natural defence reaction through the production of, among other chemicals, phenolics compounds”.
  •  The application of silicon in crops “provides a viable component of integrated management of insect pests and disease because it leaves no insecticide residues in food or the environment”.
  •  Silicon is reported to play an important role in strengthening the cell walls of the plants and enhances resistance to both pests and diseases in the field.
  •  The application of silicon “enhances resistance to pests and disease in a number of common crops such as wheat, rice, maize and vegetable crops”.


M.D. Laing and A. Adandonon. Plant Pathology, School of BGMP, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 3209.

 Silicon and Insect Management – Review” – Paper presented at the IV Silicon in Agriculture Conference, South Africa, 2008