• antioxidative system;
  • oxidative stress;
  • reactive oxygen species;
  • Triticum aestivum ;
  • wheat blast

This study investigated whether the increase in wheat resistance to blast, caused by Pyricularia oryzae, potentiated by silicon (Si) is linked to changes in the activity of antioxidative enzymes. Wheat plants (cv. BR 18) were grown in hydroponic culture with either 0 (–Si) or 2 mm (+Si) Si and half of the plants in each group were inoculated with P. oryzae. Blast severity in the +Si plants was 70% lower compared to the −Si plants at 96 h after inoculation (hai). Superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POX), ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activities were higher in the leaves of the −Si plants compared with the +Si plants at 96 hai. This indicates that other mechanisms may have limited P. oryzae infection in the +Si plants restricting the generation of reactive oxygen species, obviating the need for increased antioxidative enzyme activity. In contrast, glutathione reductase (GR) activity at 96 hai was higher in the +Si plants than in the −Si plants. Although the inoculated plants showed significantly higher concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA) than the non-inoculated plants, lower MDA concentrations were observed in the +Si plants compared with the −Si plants. The lower MDA concentration associated with decreased activities of SOD, CAT, POX, APX and GST, suggest that the amount of reactive oxygen species was lower in the +Si plants. However, GR appears to play a pivotal role in limiting oxidative stress caused by P. oryzae infection in +Si plants.