Silicon can Reduce Plant Diseases

By: Professor Lawrence E Datnoff

A review of literature and trial results by Professor Lawrence E Datnoff, one of the world’s foremost experts on silicon in agriculture illustrates that silicon can:

  • Increase the resistance of some plant species against fungal infections
  •  Reduce the rate of progress of an epidemic in plants

Examples cited by Datnoff of some diseases that may be reduced by adequate silicon levels in the plant nutrient solution include




Rice Sheath blight Rodrigues et al (2001)
Neck blast Datnoff et al (1991)
Leaf blast Seebold et al (2001)
Brown spot Datnoff et al (1991)
Leaf scald Seebold et al (2000)
Stem rot Seebold et al (2000)
Wheat Powdery mildew Menzies et al (2002)
Cucumber Powdery mildew Menzies et al (1991)
Sugarcane Sugarcane ring spot Matichenchov & Calvert (2002)
Barley Powdery mildew Jiang et al (1989)
Cowpea Rust Heath & Stumpf (1986)
Bermuda grass Leaf spot Brecht et al (2004)

Lawrence E. Datnoff, Asha M. Brunings and Fabricio A. Rodrigues. University of Florida, Department of Plant Pathology

 “Silicon Effects On Components Of Host Resistance: An Overview and Implications for Integrated Disease Management” – Paper presented at the III Silicon in Agriculture Conference in Brazil, 2005