Silicon leaf application and physiological quality of white oat and wheat seeds
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Plant nutrition can positively influence quality of seeds by improving plant tolerance to adverse climate. In this context, silicon is currently considered a micronutrient and it is beneficial to plant growth, especially Poaceaes such as white oat and wheat, thereby improving physiological quality of seeds. This study had the objective of evaluating the effects of silicon leaf application on plant tillering, silicon levels and physiological quality of white oat and wheat seeds besides establishing correlations between them. Two experiments were carried out in winter with white oat and wheat. The experimental design was the completely randomized block with eight replications. Treatments consisted of foliar application of silicon (0.8% of soluble silicon, as stabilized orthosilicic acid) and a control (with no application). Silicon levels in leaves were determined at flowering whereas the number of plants and panicles/spikes per area was counted right before harvest. Seed quality was evaluated right after harvest through mass, germination and vigor tests. Data was submitted to variance analysis and means were compared by the Tukey test at a probability level of 5%. Person's linear correlation test was performed among silicon level in plants, tillering and seed quality data. Silicon leaf application increases root and total length of white oat seedlings as an effect of higher Si level in leaves. Silicon leaf application increases mass of wheat seeds without affecting germination or vigor.
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