ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0066.v1
Online: 5 September 2022 (13:44:44 CEST)
Silicon is an essential trace nutrient for plant growth and is frequently employed to remediate soils contaminated with heavy metals in agriculture. However, silicon’s role and mechanism in reducing heavy metal toxicity have not been well understood, especially for multi-heavy metals. In this study, the effects of silicon-rich materials (silicate, rice husk biochar (RHB), and bentonite) on growth trait, antioxidant response, and heavy metal accumulation and distribution of wheat grown in two soils polluted by multiple heavy metals (Cd, Zn, Pb, and As) were investigated. The results revealed that the addition of silicon-rich materials enhanced plant growth, improved the photosynthetic attributes in leaf tissues, and decreased the contents of Cd, Zn, Pb, and As in wheat shoots and grains. The examination of the subcellular distribution of heavy metals in plants implied that silicon-rich materials transferred heavy metals as intracellular soluble fractions to the cell walls, indicating the reduction of mobility and toxicity of heavy metals in the plants. In addition, the application of the silicon-rich materials reduced oxidative damage in plants by downregulating plant antioxidant response systems and decreasing the production of malondialdehyde (MDA), ascorbic acid (AsA), and glutathione (GSH). Moreover, fractionation analysis of soil heavy metals showed that silicon-rich amendments could convert bioavailable heavy metals into immobilized forms. The results indicated that silicon-rich materials could remediate multi-heavy metal-polluted soils and promote wheat production.