Viçosa Federal University, Department of Plant Pathology, Laboratory of Host–Pathogen Interaction, Viçosa, Minas Gerais State, 36570-000, Brazil.
Silicon amendments to soil have resulted in a decrease of diseases caused by several soilborne pathogens affecting a wide number of crops. This study evaluated the physiological and biochemical mechanisms that may have increased resistance of banana to Fusarium wilt, caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense, after treatment with silicon (Si) amendment. Plants from the Grand Nain (resistant to F. oxysporum f. sp. cubense) and “Maçã” (susceptible to F. oxysporum f. sp. cubense) were grown in plastic pots amended with Si at 0 or 0.39 g/kg of soil (–Si or +Si, respectively) and inoculated with race 1 of F. oxysporum f. sp. cubense. Relative lesion length (RLL) and asymptomatic fungal colonization in tissue (AFCT) were evaluated at 40 days after inoculation. Root samples were collected at different times after inoculation with F. oxysporum f. sp. cubense to determine the level of lipid peroxidation, expressed as equivalents of malondialdehyde (MDA), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), pigments (chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, total chlorophyll, and carotenoids), total soluble phenolics (TSP), and lignin-thioglycolic acid (LTGA) derivatives; the activities of the enzymes phenylalanine ammonia-lyases glucanases (PALs), peroxidases (POXs), polyphenoloxidases (PPOs), β-1,3-glucanases (GLUs), and chitinases (CHIs); and Si concentration in roots. Root Si concentration was significantly increased by 35.3% for the +Si treatment compared with the –Si treatment. For Grand Nain, the root Si concentration was significantly increased by 12.8% compared with “Maçã.” Plants from Grand Nain and “Maçã” in the +Si treatment showed significant reductions of 40.0 and 57.2%, respectively, for RLL compared with the –Si treatment. For the AFCT, there was a significant reduction of 18.5% in the +Si treatment compared with the –Si treatment. The concentration of MDA significantly decreased for plants from Grand Nain and “Maçã” supplied with Si compared with the –Si treatment while the concentrations of H2O2 on roots and pigments on leaves significantly increased. The concentrations of TSP and LTGA derivatives as well as the PALs, PPOs, POXs, GLUs, and CHIs activities significantly increased on roots of plants from Grand Nain and “Maçã” from the +Si treatment compared with the –Si treatment. Results of this study suggest that the symptoms of Fusarium wilt on roots of banana plants supplied with Si decreased due to an increase in the concentrations of H2O2, TSP, and LTGA derivatives and greater activities of PALs, PPOs, POXs, GLUs, and CHIs.