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Boron: Functions and Approaches to Enhance Its Availability in Plants for Sustainable Agriculture

1
College of Horticulture and Forestry Sciences, Huazhong Agricultural University/Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Biology, Ministry of Education, Wuhan 430070, China
2
Department of Horticulture, University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Sargodha, Punjab 40100, Pakistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(7), 1856; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19071856
Received: 19 May 2018 / Revised: 18 June 2018 / Accepted: 19 June 2018 / Published: 24 June 2018
Boron (B) is an essential trace element required for the physiological functioning of higher plants. B deficiency is considered as a nutritional disorder that adversely affects the metabolism and growth of plants. B is involved in the structural and functional integrity of the cell wall and membranes, ion fluxes (H+, K+, PO43−, Rb+, Ca2+) across the membranes, cell division and elongation, nitrogen and carbohydrate metabolism, sugar transport, cytoskeletal proteins, and plasmalemma-bound enzymes, nucleic acid, indoleacetic acid, polyamines, ascorbic acid, and phenol metabolism and transport. This review critically examines the functions of B in plants, deficiency symptoms, and the mechanism of B uptake and transport under limited B conditions. B deficiency can be mitigated by inorganic fertilizer supplementation, but the deleterious impact of frequent fertilizer application disrupts soil fertility and creates environmental pollution. Considering this, we have summarized the available information regarding alternative approaches, such as root structural modification, grafting, application of biostimulators (mycorrhizal fungi (MF) and rhizobacteria), and nanotechnology, that can be effectively utilized for B acquisition, leading to resource conservation. Additionally, we have discussed several new aspects, such as the combination of grafting or MF with nanotechnology, combined inoculation of arbuscular MF and rhizobacteria, melatonin application, and the use of natural and synthetic chelators, that possibly play a role in B uptake and translocation under B stress conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: boron; ion uptake and transport; grafting; biostimulators; arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; rhizobacteria boron; ion uptake and transport; grafting; biostimulators; arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; rhizobacteria
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Shireen, F.; Nawaz, M.A.; Chen, C.; Zhang, Q.; Zheng, Z.; Sohail, H.; Sun, J.; Cao, H.; Huang, Y.; Bie, Z. Boron: Functions and Approaches to Enhance Its Availability in Plants for Sustainable Agriculture. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 1856.

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