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CULT: boron

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: CULT: boron
  • From: Linda Mann <lmann@icx.net>
  • Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 17:57:16 -0700 (MST)

Boron must be a hot research topic these days.  After work today, I did
a quick on-line search of recent publications in Current Contents and
picked up I think 19 articles in 1997 on plants and boron - about
equally split on requirements and toxicity.  No mention of irises

I didn't take notes so the rest of this is my best memory -

One article was about problems encountered when genetic material is
selected (hybridized) in areas where soils are high in available boron
and the problems encountered when those lines of plants are grown in
areas where soils are low in boron.  Deficiencies can readily occur.

Another paper talked about how plants seem to differ in the way they use
boron - there is some debate about whether it is only needed as a
structural component of cell walls or if there are other things it is
good/necessary  for.  It is apparently critical for cell walls of pollen
tubes (of all the obscure things..).  I guess that's where the seed set
business comes in (filling out corn ears and setting seeds in bean
crops).  I get plenty of iris seeds, so that's one indication that boron
is adequate for my irises, I guess.  Or at least for the ones that
successfully set seeds.

Another article said that there is a need for better sampling techniques
to determine deficiencies.  Because of the importance of boron in new
growth (making new cell walls), that is where deficiency is most likely
to have an effect, but it may just result in slower growth (if I
understood/remember this article correctly) and not any other symptoms.

This has really been interesting and educational - hope I'm not boring
everybody but Anner by sharing all this fascinating stuff.

Linda Mann east Tennessee USA
p.s., thanks for the honorary PhD, Anner.  Wonder if I can add that to
my vitae: PhD, College of Iris List

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