A new study from the University of Alberta has found that by adding silicon to soil it could help battle clubroot, a June 20 news release said.
The study explored the effects of silicon on clubroot, finding that by mixing the element with soil it reduced overall disease symptoms in susceptible plants by up to 46 per cent. Experiments found infection was slowed and the formation of galls on the plants was reduced, when silicon in the form of a water-soluble salt, was included in the soil.
The treatment also appeared to improve the height, root length and plant responses to stresses like drought and extreme heat, even in the presence of the clubroot pathogen, the release said.
“The experiment shows the potential benefits of silicon as an effective, economical tool for canola producers,” Ananya Sarkar study lead and PhD candidate said in the release. Sarkar’s work was supervised by U of A Professor Nat Kav.
Other research has shown that silicon eases disease-related stress and also improves resistance to pathogens in other plants, Sarkar noted.
Silicon, currently an ingredient in some fertilizers, also has the advantage of being less costly to apply to canola crops than other alternatives such as liming, she added.