Image_1_Silicon Application Differentially Modulates Root Morphology and Expression of PIN and YUCCA Family Genes in Soybean (Glycine max L.).jpg
Silicon (Si) is absorbed and accumulated by some plant species; it has been shown to improve plant growth and performance. The beneficial role of Si in plants is based on the fundamental assumptions, and the biological function of Si is still being researched due to its complex nature, distinctiveness, and interaction. The present study included two distinct experiment sets: a screening test and an advanced test. In the initial examination, we used 21 soybean (Glycine max L.) cultivars. Following the evaluation, we chose four cultivars to investigate further. In particular, the positive response cultivars, Taeseon and Geomjeongsaeol, showed a 14% increase in net photosynthesis (PN), and a 19–26% increase in transpiration in Si-treated plants when compared to the control plants. Si-treated Taeseon, Geomjeongsaeol, and Somyongkong, Mallikong cultivars showed significant differences in root morphological traits (RMTs) and root system architecture (RSA) when compared to the control plants. Taeseon and Geomjeongsaeol showed a 26 and 46% increase in total root length (TRL) after Si application, respectively, compared to the control, whereas Mallikong and Somyongkong showed 26 and 20% decrease in TRL after Si treatment, respectively, compared to the control. The Si application enhanced the overall RMTs and RSA traits in Taeseon and Geomjeongsaeol; however, the other two cultivars, Somyongkong and Mallikong, showed a decrease in such RMTs and RATs. Furthermore, to understand the underlying molecular mechanism and the response of various cultivars, we measured the Si content and analyzed the gene expression of genes involved in auxin transport and root formation and development. We showed that the Si content significantly increased in the Si-treated Somyongkong (28%) and Taeseon (30%) compared to the control cultivars. Overall, our results suggested that Si affects root development as well as the genes involved in the auxin synthesis, transport pathway, and modulates root growth leading to cultivar-dependent variation in soybeans.