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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Wooster, Ohio » Application Technology Research » Research » Research Project #440785

Research Project: Molecular and Cellular Analysis of the Effects of Silicon on Stress Tolerance in Crop Plants

Location: Application Technology Research

Project Number: 5082-21000-001-042-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2021
End Date: Aug 31, 2024

The objectives of this cooperative research are to 1) determine the effects of silicon (Si) and stress on defense gene regulation; 2) examine the effects of Si and stress on plant cell organization and structure; and 3) elucidate Si signaling pathways.

We will examine the beneficial effects of Si on stress. We will evaluate multiple parameters that help plants overcome stress, including monitoring the expression of genes involved in plant defense. As some of these genes are related, we will examine these relationships in detail and study how these genes are Si-regulated. We will determine via microscopy and other methods how stress can alter the plant cell cytology and the organization of internal constituents. We will examine one type of structure, called a stress granule, that forms when cells are exposed to various stresses. We will tag stress granule proteins with fluorescent molecules and follow their intracellular distribution in response to Si and stress. Taken together, these studies will permit us to gain a clearer picture of how Si signaling functions and helps make Si-mediated defense more efficient. This knowledge will aid in the development of new strategies employing Si to increase crop growth and yield due to reductions in stress responses.