Silicate fertilization in non-conventional vegetables in the southern region of Minas Gerais in Brazil

ABSTRACT Considering that the beneficial effects of silicon on human health and it´s accumulation in plants are little explored, studies of mineral nutrition in non-conventional vegetables are extremely relevant. Thus, the objective of this work was to identify non-conventional vegetables responsive to silica fertilization and evaluate the effect of fertilization on the content and accumulation of Si and macronutrients in these plants. The experiment followed a 4 x 5 factorial design, with four species of non-conventional vegetables (Rumex acetosa L., Amaranthus retroflexus L., Sonchus oleraceus L. and Stachys byzantina) and five doses of Si (0, 25, 50, 100 and 150 mg dm-3). The relative chlorophyll index, the fresh and dry matter masses, the content and accumulation of Si and macronutrients were evaluated. The species A. retroflexus, S. oleraceus. and S. byzantina showed the highest contents and accumulation of Si. The application of doses above 100 mg dm-3 promoted the highest silicon content estimated for the species. The species A. retroflexus, R. acetosa and S. byzantina are non-silicon accumulators, whereas S. oleraceus is intermediate.