Silicon is the second most abundant element in soils and is beneficial for plant growth. Although, the localizations and polarities of rice Si transporters have been elucidated, the mechanisms that control the expression of Si transporter genes and the functional reasons for controlling expression are not well-understood. We developed a new model that simulates the dynamics of Si in the whole plant in rice by considering Si transport in the roots, distribution at the nodes, and signaling substances controlling transporter gene expression. To investigate the functional reason for the diurnal variation of the expression level, we compared investment efficiencies (the amount of Si accumulated in the upper leaf divided by the total expression level of Si transporter genes) at different model settings. The model reproduced the gradual decrease and diurnal variation of the expression level of the transporter genes observed by previous experimental studies. The results of simulation experiments showed that a considerable reduction in the expression of Si transporter genes during the night increases investment efficiency. Our study suggests that rice has a system that maximizes the investment efficiency of Si uptake.
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