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Re: CULT: Leaf Spot-Boron Deficiency?

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: CULT: Leaf Spot-Boron Deficiency?
  • From: Bill Shear <BILLS@hsc.edu>
  • Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 10:35:30 -0700 (MST)

Quick looks into a few plant physiology books show that Boron (an element
with the symbol B) is required by plants as a micronutrient.  It is usually
found in plants at a concentration of about 5-75 parts per million dry
weight.  Most plants get enough boron from the soil; boron deficiency is
said to be rare.  According to the texts, boron is involved in how plants
use calcium, but the specifics of its involvement are unknown.  Symptoms of
boron deficiency--the young growth of the plant turns dies, turns black and
decays ("black necrosis").  The ability to respond to hormones may also be
affected and the plant may become extremely branchy because apical
dominance is lost.  Ordinary household borax contains boron and spraying a
very dilute solution would remedy the deficiency.  Boron deficiency is said
to be rare, however.

Just this superficial reading doesn't suggest any connection between boron
and fungal leaf spot in irises.  If we don't know how it does what it does
now, they probably didn't 50 years ago, either.

Still, it probably would be worth experimenting with.  Another research
project AIS could help finance!

Bill Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943
FAX (804)223-6374

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