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10 Old Grimsbury Rd, Banbury OX16 3HG, UK

7LFS1029 Research Methods

Brief Description:

You are required to prepare a project proposal for your Project.




A Systematic Review on the Effect of Sirius, a Silicon Compound, on Spring Wheat: Implications for Growth Parameters and Abiotic Stress Resistance, with a Focus on Drought.

  1. Introduction and rationale
    1. Background

Silicon is a promising element for plant growth, as it enhances root development, photosynthesis, yield and quality of a variety of crops (Walsh et al., 2018). It slows transpiration, increases resistance to drought and salt, and provides a mechanical barrier that protects the plant from disease invasion. SIRIUS is a unique silicon fertiliser used in foliar and root applications to improve strength, growth, and health of crops growing under stress conditions. However, its effects on spring wheat growth under drought are still largely unexplored. Spring wheat, an important crops species, which provide a major source of calories (30%) and protein (60%). Silicon deficiency causes physical abnormalities in wheat in terms of plant growth, development and reproduction (Chaves et al., 2013). Application of silicon to the soil or as foliar application stimulates plant growth under stress conditions (Artyszak, 2018). More studies have been conducted on foliar fertilisation with silicon, which offers undeniable production benefits than soil fertilisation. The positive effect of silicon observed in the experiments resulted in plants being less susceptible to drought stress (Tubana et al., 2016), due to the deposition of silicon as phytolith (Meena et al., 2014), an immobile structural layer in plant cell walls (Amin et al., 2018).

  1. Rationale

Silicon has several advantages over traditional fertilizers and pesticides in terms of the plant growth promotion, increased nutrient efficiency, minimize ecological disruption, and long-lasting effects. Sirius has shown promising results in a variety of plant species, but its effects on spring wheat need further research. Understanding the impact of Sirius on growth metrics and its potential to reduce drought stress in spring wheat is critical for improving agricultural production, sustainability and resilience in the face of changing climatic conditions. This study will provide scientific evidence on the potential benefits of applying Sirius in spring wheat production, insights into the role of silicon in improving growth, chlorophyll synthesis and abiotic stress tolerance, and contribute to a better understanding of the biological processes underlying the effects of Sirius on spring wheat.

  1. Aim and objectives

The aim of the study is to investigate the effect of silicon on spring wheat (Triticum aestivum) in terms of growth and yield parameters under drought stress.


a) Evaluate the effect of Silicon application on the growth parameters of spring wheat.

b) Determine the impact of Silicon on chlorophyll content and photosynthetic efficiency in spring wheat.

c) Investigate the influence of Silicon on spring wheat yield components.

d) Assess the role of Silicon in enhancing the drought stress tolerance.

  • Methodology
    • Overview on methodology for background study

This section describes the methodology for literature review on “the effect of Sirius, a silicon compound, on spring wheat.”

  • Tasks

Task 1: Literature review

1.1       Developing Research Questions

The research question for the present investigation is:

a) What is the effect of Sirius, a silicon compound, on growth and yield parameters of spring wheat, including chlorophyll content, plant height, biomass and yield?

b) How does Sirius influence the drought stress tolerance of spring wheat?

1.2       Search Strategy

Science Direct, PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus, and Agricola were among the databases searched. The search queries included keywords linked to “Sirius,” “silicon compound,” “spring wheat,” “Triticum aestivum,” “growth parameters,” “chlorophyll content,” “plant height,” “yield,” “abiotic stress,” and “drought stress.”

1.3       Criteria for Study Selection

The following were the inclusion criteria:

  • Research articles published between 2013 and 2023 in full-access, English peer-reviewed journals.
  • Studies concentrating on the effect of Sirius, a silicon compound, on spring wheat.

The exclusion criteria were as follows:

  • Studies with limited content on the subject.
  • Studies published before the year 2013.
  • Studies that did not specifically analyse the impacts of Sirius, a silicon compound, on other crop species.

Task 2: Data Extraction and Synthesis

Relevant data will be extracted, including study design, plant growth conditions, Sirius application methods, treatment concentrations, duration of treatment, growth parameter measurements, chlorophyll content and photosynthetic efficiency rate, yield components measurements and drought stress conditions.

Task 3: Data Analysis and interpretation

The data collection form were analysed and interpreted to reach a good conclusion that is relevant to the objectives of the research.

Task 4: Generation of secondary data

Generation of the findings from the reviewed literature to provide a systematic overview of the topic and thereby interpret the implications.

  • Overview on methodology for glass house experiment

This experimental design outlines the methodology to examine the impact of Sirius on wheat growth under drought conditions.

Task 1: Glass house experiment

  1. Experimental Groups: Wheat plants grown in compost pots with uniform soil composition, irrigation, and sunlight exposure and are free from diseases that could affect wheat growth are selected for the study.

Prepare two groups: control group (without Sirius treatment) and treatment group (with Sirius treatment).

  • Control Group: No treatment applied.
  • Treatment Groups: Various treatment techniques using Sirius, including:
  • Foliar application: Spraying Sirius solution on the leaves.
  • Seed treatment: Coating the wheat seeds with Sirius solution before planting.
  • Soil drenching: Applying Sirius solution to the soil around the base of the plants.
    • Randomization:

Randomly assign the treatment techniques to minimize bias and ensure equal representation of treatments.

  1. Replication:

Replicate the experiment at least three times to account for variability and increase the statistical significance of the results.

  1. Treatment Application:

A.        Preparation of Sirius treatment:

a. Determination of the appropriate concentration or dosage of Sirius (0.017%) based on literature review.

b. Preparation of stock solution of Sirius.

c. Dilution of the stock solution with water to achieve the desired concentration for application.

B.        Wheat Growth Conditions:

a. Preparation of two separate growth environments: normal watering (control) and drought conditions.

b. Provide the uniform growth conditions (e.g., light intensity, temperature, and photoperiod) for both groups.

c. Develop controlled drought conditions by reducing water supply to the treatment group.

Task 2. Experimental Procedure:

Wheat seeds are germinated in a sterile growth medium (e.g., vermiculite or petri dishes with filter paper). When the seedlings have reached a certain growth stage (e.g., uniform shoot and root length), they are transplant into pots filled with a standardized growth medium (e.g., potting mix) and followed by the appropriate treatment to each group.

  • Control group: Water the plants regularly according to their moisture requirements.
  • Treatment group: Water the plants following the same schedule as the control group but apply the Sirius treatment in addition to regular watering.

Maintain the appropriate moisture levels throughout the experiment:

  • Control group: Ensure adequate water supply to prevent drought stress.
  • Treatment group: Apply the same watering regime as the control group but maintain the drought conditions.

Task 3. Data Collection:

The following parameters are measured at predetermined time intervals, such as weekly, throughout the experimental duration:

  • Plant height: Measure the height of randomly selected wheat plants in each pot.
  • Leaf area: Determine the leaf area of a wheat plants using appropriate methods (e.g., leaf area meter).
  • Biomass: Harvest and weigh the above-ground biomass of wheat plants in each plot.
  • Chlorophyll level of randomly selected leaf of plant from each pot will be measured by using the SPAD meter.
  • Plant height will be measured using a scale from the soil surface and to the tip of the main tiller.
  • Yield: When the plants are matured, the total number of spikes, gain of weight and complete gain in yield will be recorded for each of the plants after the treatment.

Task 4: Data Analysis:

a. Data analysis using statistical methods (e.g., t-test, ANOVA) to determine significant differences between the control and treatment groups.

b. Representation of results through tables, graphs, and statistical analysis.

Task 5: Data interpretation and conclusion

Conclusion based on the data analysis and determination of the most effective treatment technique for enhancing wheat growth using Sirius is done to discuss the practical implications and potential applications of the findings.

  1. Project management
    1. Schedule

Gantt chart

Conduct background study        
Preparation of research proposal        
Conduct literature review         
Conduct experimental study        
Data collection        
Data analysis        
Discuss conclusion        
Conduct final discussion        
Preparation and submission of thesis        
  1.  Milestones
S/NMilestones achievedTarget dates
1Selection of research topic and define the objectives.   
2Literature reviewing and documentation. 
3Experimental study and data collection 
3Data analysis, and interpretation 
4Drafting the thesis   
  1. Deliverables

An overview of the project goals and anticipated results for a systematic review of research is shown in the table below.

S/NObjectivesOutcomeExpected date
1Explore relevant papers and collect data.Comprehensive list of pertinent sources for data collection 
4Experimental studyAnalysis the influence of Sirius, as a fertilizer in spring wheat especially in drought stress conditions. 
5Determine knowledge gapsIdentifying topics that need further research 
6Specify suggestions for further studies.Recommendations for effective crop management 
7Develop a review reportA comprehensive paper that summarises the study’s goals, procedures, findings, and conclusions. 


Amin, M., Ahmad, R., Ali, A., Hussain, I., Mahmood, R., Aslam, M., & Lee, D. J. (2018). Influence of silicon fertilization on maize performance under limited water supply. Silicon10, 177-183.

Artyszak, A. (2018). Effect of Silicon Fertilization on Crop Yield Quantity and Quality—A Literature Review in Europe. Plants7(3), 54. 

Chaves, M. S., Martinelli, J. A., Wesp-Guterres, C., Graichen, F. A. S., Brammer, S. P., Scagliusi, S. M., … & Chaves, A. L. S. (2013). The importance for food security of maintaining rust resistance in wheat. Food security5, 157-176.

Meena, V. D., Dotaniya, M. L., Coumar, V., Rajendiran, S., Ajay, Kundu, S., & Subba Rao, A. (2014). A case for silicon fertilization to improve crop yields in tropical soils. Proceedings of the national academy of sciences, India section b: Biological sciences84, 505-518.

Tubana, B. S., Babu, T., & Datnoff, L. E. (2016). A review of silicon in soils and plants and its role in US agriculture: history and future perspectives. Soil science181(9/10), 393-411. Walsh, O., Shafian, S., McClintick-Chess, J., Belmont, K., & Blanscet, S. (2018). Potential of Silicon Amendment for Improved Wheat Production. Plants7(2), 26. 

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