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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Photosynthesis is an Early Target of Boron Deficiency in Geranium

Authors
item Mishra, Sasmita - UNIV. OF TOLEDO
item Heckathorn, Scott -
item Frantz, Jonathan
item Yu, Futong -
item Gray, John -

Submitted to: American Society of Horticulture Science Meeting
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 31, 2008
Publication Date: April 1, 2009
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/32462
Citation: Mishra, S., Heckathorn, S., Frantz, J., Yu, F., Gray, J. 2009. Photosynthesis is an Early Target of Boron Deficiency in Geranium. American Society of Horticulture Science Meeting. 134:183-193.

Interpretive Summary: Boron has been determined to have an essential role in plant cell-wall structure, but other specific functions for boron (B) in plants are unclear. Early responses to B stress are debated, and adaptations to B stress are incompletely understood. We sought to determine if photosynthesis is an early target of B deficiency, and if increased light availability can mitigate B deficiency. Geranium (Pelargonium x hortorum cv. Nittany Lion Red) plants were grown from cuttings, and then exposed to normal or deficient levels of B and low or medium light levels. Photosynthesis rates and efficiencies were monitored for 5 d, as were levels of B, chlorophyll, soluble sugars, total protein, and several photosynthetic and stress proteins. After 5 d, plant mass was greater in medium vs. low light, and was decreased by B deficiency only in leaves in medium light. B deficiency decreased B concentration in all tissues, especially in new leaves and at medium light. Photosynthetic rate and efficiency decreased within 1 day of B deficiency in low-light plants, but not until 5 days in high-light plants. Total chlorophyll decreased, and an oxidative stress protein increased transiently, with B deficiency (both light levels), but no other effects of low B were observed. Together, these results indicate that photosynthesis is indeed an early and specific target of B deficiency, and higher light can ameliorate B deficiency, perhaps due in part to enhanced carbohydrate status.

Technical Abstract: Apart from an essential role in cell-wall structure, specific functions for boron (B) in plants are unclear; hence, early responses to B stress are debated, and adaptations to B stress are incompletely understood. We tested hypotheses that (1) photosynthesis is an early target of B deficiency, and (2) increased light availability can mitigate B deficiency. Geranium (Pelargonium x hortorum cv. Nittany Lion Red) plants were grown hydroponically from cuttings until rooted, and then exposed to normal or deficient levels of B (45 or 0 'M) and low or medium light levels (100 or 300 'mol m-2 s-1 PAR). Photosynthesis (net CO2 uptake, carboxylation and PSII efficiency) was monitored for 5 d, as were levels of B, chlorophyll, soluble sugars, total protein, and several photosynthetic and stress proteins (rubisco, rubisco activase, OEC23, Cu/Zn-SOD, Mn-SOD, eiF5-A). After 5 d, plant mass was greater in medium vs. low light, and was decreased by B deficiency only in leaves in medium light. B deficiency decreased [B] in all tissues, especially in new leaves and at medium light. Net photosynthesis and carboxylation efficiency decreased within 1 day of B deficiency in low-light plants, but not until 5 days in high-light plants. Total chlorophyll decreased, and Mn-SOD increased transiently, with B deficiency (both light levels), but no other effects of low B were observed. Together, these results indicate that photosynthesis is indeed an early and specific target of B deficiency, and higher light can ameliorate B deficiency, perhaps due in part to enhanced carbohydrate status.

Last Modified: 7/30/2014
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