The Asiatic rice borer, Chilo suppressalis (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), is one of the most destructive pests in rice, Oryza sativa L., throughout Asian countries. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of applied silicon in mediating rice plant resistance to C. suppressalis in a susceptible (Shanyou63) and a moderately resistant (Yanfeng47) rice cultivar. Silicon-treated plants showed significant increases in silicon content compared with the control. Silicon addition significantly decreased borer penetration, weight gain, and stem damage, and it prolonged penetration duration and larval development; some of the effects were manifested more strongly in the susceptible rice cultivar compared with the moderately resistant cultivar. Therefore, silicon amendment may contribute to the suppression of C. suppressalis directly through reduced feeding damage and performance and indirectly through increased exposure time of young larvae to natural enemies and control measures.
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Vol. 103 • No. 4