Defense Responses in Rice Induced by Silicon Amendment against Infestation by the Leaf Folder <i>Cnaphalocrocis medinalis</i>


<div><p>Silicon (Si) amendment to plants can confer enhanced resistance to herbivores. In the present study, the physiological and cytological mechanisms underlying the enhanced resistance of plants with Si addition were investigated for one of the most destructive rice pests in Asian countries, the rice leaf folder, <i>Cnaphalocrocis medinalis</i> (Guenée). Activities of defense-related enzymes, superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, catalase, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, and polyphenol oxidase, and concentrations of malondialdehyde and soluble protein in leaves were measured in rice plants with or without leaf folder infestation and with or without Si amendment at 0.32 g Si/kg soil. Silicon amendment significantly reduced leaf folder larval survival. Silicon addition alone did not change activities of defense-related enzymes and malondialdehyde concentration in rice leaves. With leaf folder infestation, activities of the defense-related enzymes increased and malondialdehyde concentration decreased in plants amended with Si. Soluble protein content increased with Si addition when the plants were not infested, but was reduced more in the infested plants with Si amendment than in those without Si addition. Regardless of leaf folder infestation, Si amendment significantly increased leaf Si content through increases in the number and width of silica cells. Our results show that Si addition enhances rice resistance to the leaf folder through priming the feeding stress defense system, reduction in soluble protein content and cell silicification of rice leaves.</p></div

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