Abstract: Silicon (Si) is considered a non-essential element similar to cadmium, arsenic, lead, etc., for plants, yet Si is beneficial to plant growth, so it is also referred to as a quasi-essential element (similar to aluminum, cobalt, sodium and selenium). An element is considered quasi-essential if it is not required by plants but its absence results in significant negative consequences or anomalies in plant growth, reproduction and development. Si is reported to reduce the negative impacts of different stresses in plants. The significant accumulation of Si on the plant tissue surface is primarily responsible for these positive influences in plants, such as increasing antioxidant activity while reducing soil pollutant absorption. Because of these advantageous properties, the application of Si-based nanoparticles (Si-NPs) in agricultural and food production has received a great deal of interest. Furthermore, conventional Si fertilizers are reported to have low bioavailability; therefore, the development and implementation of nano-Si fertilizers with high bioavailability could be crucial for viable agricultural production. Thus, in this context, the objectives of this review are to summarize the effects of both Si and Si-NPs on soil microbes, soil properties, plant growth and various plant pathogens and diseases. Si-NPs and Si are reported to change the microbial colonies and biomass, could influence rhizospheric microbes and biomass content and are able to improve soil fertility.
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