Life Sciences & Biotechnology

Title :

An ultrastructural study on the development of rice silica cells at micro- and nano-scale

Area of research :

Life Sciences & Biotechnology

Focus area :

Plant Physiology, Biotechnology

Principal Investigator :

Dr. Santosh Kumar, Assistant Professor, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT)

Timeline Start Year :


Timeline End Year :


Contact info :


Executive Summary :

Silica is deposited on cell wall material in most cell types, but in Poaceae family plants, silica cells fill almost their entire cell volume with silica deposited on a proteinaceous template. Silica cells secrete a protein called Siliplant1 (Slp1), which interacts with supersaturated silicic acid in the apoplast, precipitating silica between the cell wall and the cell membrane. This process displaces the cytoplasm, causing the cytoplasm to shrink and silicify. After silicification, silica cells undergo programmed cell death, leaving behind micrometric voids. The current proposal aims to follow ultrastructural changes in rice silica cells using confocal fluorescent light and scanning electron microscopes to understand the internal organization of cell organelles and their fate after cell death.


Dr. Arnab Banerjee, Birla Institute of Technology & Science Pilani, Goa

Total Budget (INR):


Organizations involved