alexa Phytoliths in Plants:A Review
ISSN: 2320-0189

Research & Reviews: Journal of Botanical Sciences
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Review Article

Phytoliths in Plants:A Review

Sheikh Abdul Shakoor*, Mudassir Ahmad Bhat, and Showkat Hamid Mir

Biodiversity and Systematics Laboratory, Department of Botanical and Environmental Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab, India

Corresponding Author:
Sheikh Abdul Shakoor
Biodiversity and Systematics Laboratory, Department of Botanical and Environmental Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab, India

Received date: 13 April 2014 Accepted date: 12 June 2015

 

Abstract

Many plant groups are known to deposit silicon within and between the cells and tissues in solid form creating amorphous structures commonly known as phytoliths or silica bodies. Phytoliths are inorganic amorphous oxides (SiO2) formed by the process of polymerization following uptake of monosilicic acid (H4SiO4) from the soil. Phytoliths are known to boost the growth and development of plants particularly during environmental onslaughts. They provide mechanical strength and rigidity to plant parts and serve as a defense system against predators, herbivores and fungal infestations as well as improve water balance, plant growth and yield, rates of photosynthesis, reproduction and reduce grain chaffness. Above all the characteristic shape and size of phytoliths are known to play significant role in taxonomic analysis of different plant groups. The present paper highlights the background on plant phytoliths, their distribution in plant kingdom, forms in the soil and the ones available to the plants, silica uptake mechanisms, its deposition and distribution within the plant body and their roles.

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