Although silicon (Si) is not recognized an essential element for the growth of higher plants, it has been proved that Si is beneficial or quasi-essential to plants. The beneficial effects are particularly distinct on plants exposed to various forms of biotic and abiotic stress. Currently, silicate fertilizers are extensively used in many countries, especially in Asian, African and Latin American countries. Silicon is now playing ever-increasingly important roles in the sustainability of agriculture. In the last two decades, the roles of silicon in plants and agriculture have been widely recognized by scientists, government officials and farmers throughout the world due to the great advancements in both basic and applied research on silicon. The Si community has also grown up, with 200 participants in the fourth conference, which is doubled more than in the first session.
Silicon in agriculture included chemical and geochemical characterization of silicon in soil and its availability, physiological and molecular mechanisms of silicon uptake and transport, Si-enhanced plant growth and development, Si-enhanced tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses, silicon fertilizer manufacturing and marketing etc. The theme of the 5th International Conference on Silicon in Agriculture is “Silicon and Sustainable Agricultural Development”. Rapid progress and great breakthrough have been achieved in the research on the role of silicon in plant biology and agriculture over the last decade. This conference will provide a forum for the distinguished scientists, colleagues, students, fertilizer producers and consumers to present their most recent findings and achievements, and to exchange their valuable experiences with their international partners.