Sources and concentrations of silicon modulate the physiological and anatomical responses of Aechmea blanchetiana (Bromeliaceae) during in vitro culture

  • João Paulo Rodrigues MartinsEmail author
  • Luiz Carlos de Almeida Rodrigues
  • Thayna dos Santos Silva
  • Elizangela Rodrigues Santos
  • Antelmo Ralph Falqueto
  • Andreia Barcelos Passos Lima Gontijo
Original Article


The use of silicon (Si) has been shown to be a good alternative to improve the growth and content of photosynthetic pigments of plants propagated in vitro. So far, it is not well understood how the sources and concentrations of Si can affect the root and leaf anatomy as well as the functioning of the photosynthetic apparatus of these plants. The aim was to assess the physiological and anatomical responses of Aechmea blanchetiana plants in function of sources and concentrations of Si during in vitro culture. Side shoots of plants previously established in vitro were excised and transferred to a culture medium containing CaSiO3 or Na2SiO3 in four concentrations (0, 7, 14 or 21 µM). After culture for 90 days, the chlorophyll a fluorescence transient, root and leaf anatomy, contents of photosynthetic pigments and mineral nutrients as well as growth were analyzed. Plants grown in medium supplemented with Na2SiO3 presented characteristics of salt stress, such as smaller stomata, higher potassium content and lower number of active reaction centers (RC/CSM). On the other hand, plants cultured with 7 and 14 µM CaSiO3 had an increase in photosynthetic pigment content and performance of photosynthetic apparatus, verified by the performance indexes (PI(ABS) and PI(TOTAL)). The employment of concentrations equal to or higher than 21 µM Si, independent of Si source, caused toxicity symptoms in the plants. The use of CaSiO3 had a positive effect on the concentration interval between 7 and 14 µM by improving physiological and anatomical quality of A. blanchetiana plants.

Key message

Silicon source and concentration can affect the physiological responses of Aechmea blanchetiana during in vitro culture. This study highlights that CaSiO3 increases the photosynthetic pigment content and photosynthetic apparatus performance.


Bromeliad Chlorophyll a fluorescence Plant anatomy Plant physiology Plant tissue culture 



The authors would like to acknowledge the scholarship awarded by CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel), CNPq (Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development) and the FAPES (Espírito Santo State Research Foundation).

Author contributions

JPRM, LCAR, TSS and ERS conducted experiments. JPRM and LCAR wrote the manuscript and carried out the statistical analysis. ARF and ABPLG provided the structure and conditions to develop the experiments and contributed to the discussion of results. All the authors read and approved the final version of the paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. Adams WW, Zarter CR, Mueh KE, Amiard V, Demmig-Adams B (2008) Energy dissipation and photoinhibition: a continuum of photoprotection gene. Regul Environ 21:49–64. Google Scholar
  2. Arnon DI (1949) Copper enzymes in isolated chloroplasts. Polyphenoloxidase in Beta vulgaris. Plant Physiol 24:1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arshi A, Ahmad A, Aref IM, Iqbal M (2010) Effect of calcium against salinity-induced inhibition in growth, ion accumulation and proline contents in Cichorium intybus L. J Environ Biol 31:939–944Google Scholar
  4. Asmar SA, Pasqual M, Rodrigues FA, Araujo AG, Pio LAS, Silva SO (2011) Fontes de silício no desenvolvimento de plântulas de bananeira ‘Maçã’ micropropagadas. Cienc Rural 41:1127–1131. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Asmar AS, Castro EM, Pasqual M, Pereira FJ, Soares JDR (2013) Changes in leaf anatomy and photosynthesis of micropropagated banana plantlets under different silicon sources. Sci Hortic 161:328–332. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Asmar AS, Soares JDR, Silva RAL, Pasqual M, Pio LAS, Castro EM (2015) Anatomical and structural changes in response to application of silicon (Si) in vitro during the acclimatization of banana cv. ‘Grand Naine’. Aust J Crop Sci 9:1236–1241Google Scholar
  7. Bowsher AW, Mason CM, Goolsby EW, Donovan LA (2016) Fine root tradeoffs between nitrogen concentration and xylem vessel traits preclude unified whole-plant resource strategies in Helianthus. Ecol Evol 6:1016–1031. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cai W, Gao X, Hu J, Chen L, Li X, Liu Y, Wang G (2016) UV-B radiation inhibits the photosynthetic electron transport chain in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Pak J Bot 48:2587–2593Google Scholar
  9. Chen S, Kang Y, Zhang M, Wang X, Strasser RJ, Zhou B, Qiang S (2015) Differential sensitivity to the potential bioherbicide tenuazonic acid probed by the JIP-test based on fast chlorophyll fluorescence kinetics. Environ Exp Bot 112:1–15. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Correia CM, Pereira JMM, Coutinho JF, Björn LO, Torres-Pereira JMG (2005) Ultraviolet-B radiation and nitrogen affect the photosynthesis of maize: a Mediterranean field study. Eur J Agron 22:337–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Costa BNS, Costa IJS, Dias GMG, Assis FA, Pio LAS, Soares JDR, Pasqual M (2018) Morpho-anatomical and physiological alterations of passion fruit fertilized with silicon. Pesq Agropec Bras 53:163–171. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dias GMG, Soares JDR, Pasqual M, Alves RL, Rodrigues LCA, Pereira FJ, Castro EM (2014) Photosynthesis and leaf anatomy of Anthurium cv. Rubi plantlets cultured in vitro under different silicon (Si) concentrations. Aust J Crop Sci 8:1160–1167Google Scholar
  13. Dias GMG, Soares JDR, Ribeiro SF, Martins AD, Paqual M, Alves E (2017) Morphological and physiological characteristics in vitro anthurium plantlets exposed to silicon. Crop Breed Appl Biot 17:18–24. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fajinmi OO, Amoo SO, Finnie JF, Van Staden J (2014) Optimization of in vitro propagation of Coleonema album, a highly utilized medicinal and ornamental plant. S Afr J Bot 94:9–13. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ghassemi-Golezani K, Lotfi R (2015) The Impact of salicylic acid and silicon on chlorophyll a fluorescence in mung bean under salt stress. Russ J Plant Physiol 62:611–616. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Goltsev VN, Kalaji HM, Paunov M, Bąba W, Horaczek T, Mojski J, Kociel H, Allakhverdiev SI (2016) Variable chlorophyll fluorescence and its use for assessing physiological condition of plant photosynthetic apparatus. Russ J Plant Physiol 63:869–893. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Johansen DA (1940) Plant microtechnique. Mc Graw-Hill (2ª Ed.), New York, pp 523Google Scholar
  18. Jordan GJ, Carpenter RJ, Koutoulis A, Price A, Brodribb TJ (2015) Environmental adaptation in stomatal size independent of the effects of genome size. New Phytologist Trust 205:608–617. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kalaji HM, Jajoo A, Oukarroum A, Brestic M, Zivcak M, Samborska IA, Cetner MD, Łukasik I, Goltsev V, Ladle RJ (2016) Chlorophyll a fluorescence as a tool to monitor physiological status of plants under abiotic stress conditions. Acta Physiol Plant 4:1–11. Google Scholar
  20. Kaya C, Higgs D (2003) Supplementary potassium nitrate improves salt tolerance in bell pepper plants. J Plant Nutr 26:1367–1382. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kwano BH, Moreira A, Moraes LAC, Nogueira MA (2017) Magnesium-manganese interaction in soybean cultivars with different nutritional requirements. J Plant Nutr 40:372–381. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lembrechts R, Ceusters N, De Proft M, Ceusters J (2017) Sugar and starch dynamics in the medium-root-leaf system indicate possibilities to optimize plant tissue culture. Sci Hortic 224:226–231. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Malavolta E, Vitti GC, Oliveira AS (1997) Avaliação do estado nutricional das plantas: princípios e aplicações, 2.ed. POTAFOS, Piracicaba, 319 pGoogle Scholar
  24. Malvi UR (2011) Interaction of micronutrients with major nutrients with special reference to potassium. Karnataka J Agric Sci 24:106–109Google Scholar
  25. Manivannan A, Soundararajan P, Cho YS, Park JE, Jeong BR (2018) Sources of silicon influence photosystem and redox homeostasis-related proteins during the axillary shoot multiplication of Dianthus caryophyllus. Plant Biosyst 152:704–710. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Marschner P (2012) Mineral nutrition of higher plants. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  27. Martins JPR, Schimildt ER, Alexandre RS, Falqueto AR, Otoni WC (2015a) Chlorophyll a fluorescence and growth of Neoregelia concentrica (Bromeliaceae) during acclimatization in response to light levels. In Vitro Cell Dev 51:471–481. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Martins JPR, Verdoodt V, Pasqual M, De Proft M (2015b) Impacts of photoautotrophic and photomixotrophic conditions on in vitro propagated Billbergia zebrina (Bromeliaceae). Plant Cell Tissue Organ Cult 123(1):121–132. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Martins JPR, Verdoodt V, Pasqual M, De Proft M (2016) Physiological responses by Billbergia zebrina (Bromeliaceae) when grown under controlled microenvironmental conditions. Afr J Biotechnol 15:1952–1961. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Martins AD, Martins JPR, Batista LA, DIAS GMG, Almeida MO, Pasqual M, Santos HO (2018a) Morpho-physiological changes in Billbergia zebrina due to the use of silicates in vitro. An Acad Bras Ciênc 90:3449–3462. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Martins JPR, Rodrigues LCA, Santos ER, Batista BG, Gontijo ABPL, Falqueto AR (2018b) Anatomy and photosystem II activity of in vitro grown Aechmea blanchetiana as affected by 1-naphthaleneacetic acid. Biol Plantarum 62:211–221. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Martins JPR, Santos ER, Rodrigues LCA, Gontijo ABPL, Falqueto AR (2018c) Effects of 6-benzylaminopurine on photosystem II functionality and leaf anatomy of in vitro cultivated Aechmea blanchetiana. Biol Plantarum 62:793–800. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Matysiak B, Gabryszewska E (2016) The effect of in vitro culture conditions on the pattern of maximum photochemical efficiency of photosystem II during acclimatisation of Helleborus niger plantlets to ex vitro conditions. Plant Cell Tissue Organ Cult 125:585–593. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Meng LL, Song JF, Wen J, Zhang J, Wei JH (2016) Effects of drought stress on fluorescence characteristics of photosystem II in leaves of Plectranthus scutellarioides. Photosynthetica 54:414–421. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Monda K, Araki H, Kuhara S, Ishigaki G, Akashi R, Negi R, Kojima M, Sakakibara H, Takahashi S, Hashimoto-Sugimoto M, Goto N, Iba K (2016) Enhanced stomatal conductance by a spontaneous arabidopsis tetraploid, Me-0, results from increased stomatal size and greater stomatal aperture. Plant Physiol 01450.2015;
  36. Murashige T, Skoog F (1962) A revised medium for rapid growth and bioassays with tobacco tissue cultures. Physiol Plant 15:473–497. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Patil AA, Durgude AG, Pharande Al (2018) Effect of silicon application along with chemical fertilizers on nutrient uptake and nutrient availability for rice plants. Int J Chem Stud 6:260–266Google Scholar
  38. Pitman JK (2005) Manganese molecular mechanism of manganese transport and homeostasis. New Phytol 167:733–742. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Poschenrieder C, Barcelo´ J (1999) Water relations in heavy metal stressed plants. In: Prasad MNV, Hagemeyer J (eds) Heavy metal stress in plants. Springer, Berlin, pp 207–229. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rab A, Sajid M, Ahmad N, Nawab K, Ali SG (2017) Foliar calcium application ameliorates salinity-induced changes of tomato crop grown in saline conditions. Sarhad J Agric 33:540–548. Google Scholar
  41. Rapacz M, Kościelniak J, Jurczyk B, Adamska A, Wójcik M (2010) Different patterns of physiological and molecular response to drought in seedlings of malt- and feed-type barleys (Hordeum vulgare). J Agron Crop Sci 196:9–19. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rezende RALS, Rodrigues FA, Soares JDR, Silveira HRO, Pasqual M, Dias GMG (2018) Salt stress and exogenous silicon influence physiological and anatomical features of in vitro-grown cape gooseberry. Cien Rural 48:e20170176. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ribera-Fonseca A, Rumpel C, Mora ML, Nikolic M, Cartes P (2018) Sodium silicate and calcium silicate differentially affect silicon and aluminium uptake, antioxidant performance and phenolics metabolism of ryegrass in an acid Andisol. Crop Pasture Sci 69:205–215. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rodrigues FA, Rezende RALS, Soares JDR, Rodrigues VA, Pasqual M, Silva SO (2017) Application of silicon sources in yam (Dioscorea spp.) micropropagation. Aust J Crop Sci 11:1469–1473. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Rosa WS, Martins JPR, Santos ER, Rodrigues LCA, Gontijo ABPL, Falqueto AR (2018) Photosynthetic apparatus performance in function of the cytokinins used during the in vitro multiplication of Aechmea blanchetiana (Bromeliaceae). Plant Cell Tissue Organ Cul 133:339–350. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rouphael Y, Micco V, Arena C, Raimondi G, Colla G, Pascale S (2017) Effect of Ecklonia maxima seaweed extract on yield, mineral composition, gas exchange, and leaf anatomy of zucchini squash grown under saline conditions. J App Phycol 29:459–470. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sáez PL, Bravo LA, Sáez KL, Sánchez-Olate M, Latsague MI, Ríos DG (2012) Photosynthetic and leaf anatomical characteristics of Castanea sativa: a comparison between in vitro and nursery plants. Biol Pant 56:15–24. Google Scholar
  48. Sáez PL, Bravo LA, Sánchez-Olate M, Bravo PB, Ríos DG (2016) Effect of photon flux density and exogenous sucrose on the photosynthetic performance during in vitro culture of Castanea sativa. Am J Plant Sci 7:2087–2105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Scholz AK, Klepsch M, Karimi Z, Jansen S (2013) How to quantify conduits in wood? Front Plant Sci 4:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Ševčíková H, Lhotáková Z, Hamet J, Lipavská H (2018) Mixotrophic in vitro cultivations: the way to go astray in plant physiology. Physiol Plant. Google Scholar
  51. Sivanesan I, Park SW (2014) The role of silicon in plant tissue culture. Front Plant Sci 5:1–4. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Solmaz I, Sari N, Dasgan Y, Aktas H, Yetisir H, Unlu H (2011) The effect of salinity on stomata and leaf characteristis of dihaploid melon lines and their hybrids. J Food Agri Environ 9:172–176Google Scholar
  53. Soundararajan P, Sivanesan I, Jo EH, Jeong BR (2013) Silicon promotes shoot proliferation and shoot growth of Salvia splendens under salt stress in vitro. Hort Environ Biotechnol 54:311–318. 2013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Stirbet A, Govindjee (2011) On the relation between the Kautsky effect (chlorophyll a fluorescence induction) and photosystem II: basics and applications of the OJIP fluorescence transient. J Photochem Photobiol B 104:236–257. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Strasser RJ, Srivastava A, Tsimilli-Michael M (2000) The fluorescence transient as a tool to characterise and screen photosynthetic samples. In: Yunus M, Pathre U, Mohanty P (eds) Probing photosynthesis: mechanisms, regulation and adaptation. Taylor and Francis, London, pp 445–483Google Scholar
  56. Strasser RJ, Tsimilli-Michael M, Srivastava A (2004) Analysis of the chlorophyll a fluorescence transient. In: Papageorgiou GC, Govindjee (eds) Chlorophyll fluorescence: a signature of photosynthesis. Kluwer Academic Publishers Press, Dordrecht, pp 321–362. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Tomar RS, Sharma A, Jajoo A (2015) Assessment of phytotoxicity of anthracene in soybean (Glycine max) with a quick method of chlorophyll fluorescence. Plant Biol 17:870–876. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Tombesi S, Johnson RS, Day KR, DeJong TM (2010) Relationships between xylem vessel characteristics, calculated axial hydraulic conductance and size-controlling capacity of peach rootstocks. Ann Bot 105:327–331. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Tuna AL, Kaya C, Ashraf M, Altunlu H, Yokas I, Yagmur B (2007) The effects of calcium sulphate on growth, membrane stability and nutrient uptake of tomato plants grown under salt stress. Environ Exp Bot 59:173–178. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Viehmannova I, Cepkova PH, Vitamvas J, Streblova P, Kisilova J (2016) Micropropagation of a giant ornamental bromeliad Puya berteroniana through adventitious shoots and assessment of their genetic stability through ISSR primers and flow cytometry. Plant Cell Tissue Organ Cul 125:293–302. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wang M, Zheng Q, Shen Q, Guo S (2013) The critical role of potassium in plant stress response. Int J Mol Sci 14:7370–7390. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Wellburn AR (1994) The spectral determination of chlorophylls a and b, as well as total carotenoids, using various solvents with spectrophotometers of different resolution. J Plant Physiol 144:307–313. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Yamaji N, Ma JF (2014) The node, a hub for mineral nutrient distribution in graminaceous plants. Trends Plant Sci 19:556–563. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Yarsi G, Sivaci A, Dasgan Hy, Altuntas O, Binzet R, Akhoundnejad Y (2017) Effects of salinity stress on chlorophyll and carotenoid contents and stomata size of grafted and ungrafted galia c8 melon cultivar. Pak J Bot 49:421–426Google Scholar
  65. Yusuf MM, Kumar D, Rajwanshi R, Strasser RJ, Tsimilli-Michael M, Govindjee Sarin NB (2010) Overexpression of γ-tocopherol methyl transferase gene in transgenic Brassica juncea plants alleviates abiotic stress: physiological and chlorophyll fluorescence measurements. Biochim Biophys Acta 1797:1428–1438. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Zhang JH, Guo SJ, Guo PY, Wang X (2014) The interacting effect of urea and fenoxaprop-P-ethyl on photosynthesis and chlorophyll fluorescence in Perilla frutescens. Photosynthetica 52:456–463. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Zhang A, Wang H, Shao Q, Xu M, Zhang W, Li M (2015) Large scale in vitro propagation of Anoectochilus roxburghii for commercial application: pharmaceutically important and ornamental plant. Ind Crop Prod 70:158–162. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • João Paulo Rodrigues Martins
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Luiz Carlos de Almeida Rodrigues
    • 3
  • Thayna dos Santos Silva
    • 2
  • Elizangela Rodrigues Santos
    • 1
  • Antelmo Ralph Falqueto
    • 1
  • Andreia Barcelos Passos Lima Gontijo
    • 2
  1. 1.Plant Ecophysiology LaboratoryFederal University of Espírito SantoSão MateusBrazil
  2. 2.Plant Tissue Culture LaboratoryFederal University of Espírito SantoSão MateusBrazil
  3. 3.Federal Institute of Minas GeraisBambuíBrazil

Personalised recommendations