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Influence of Boron Nutrition on Membrane Leakage, Chlorophyll Content and Gas Exchange Characteristics in Cotton (Gossypium Hirsutum L.)

Ahmed, N., Abid, M., Rashid, A., Abou-Shanab, R., Ahmad, F.
Journal of plant nutrition 2014 v.37 no.14 pp. 2302-2315
Gossypium hirsutum, Haplocambids, boron, calcareous soils, calcium carbonate, carbon dioxide, chlorophyll, cotton, dry environmental conditions, electrolytes, fertilizers, field experimentation, gas exchange, growth and development, hydrochloric acid, leaves, nutrition, pH, photosynthesis, principal component analysis, silt, stomatal conductance, water use efficiency
Understanding the effect of boron (B) on plant physiology will help to refine the diagnosis of B deficiency and improvement in B fertilizer recommendations for cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) growing areas. This study shows the testing of hypotheses “that application of B-fertilizer improves net photosynthetic rate (P N) and water use efficiency (WUE) for cotton plant on a B-deficient soil [< 0.50 mg B kg ⁻¹ hydrochloric acid (HCl)-extractable] in an arid environment”. Thus, a permanent layout [two-year field experiment (2004 and 2005)] was conducted to study the impact of B fertilizer at 0, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0 kg ha ⁻¹ on gas exchange and electrolyte leakage (EL) characteristics of cotton crop (cv. ‘CIM-473’). The soil at experimental site was alkaline (pH 8.1), calcareous [calcium carbonate (CaCO ₃ 5.6%)], and silt loam (Typic Haplocambid). Boron use decreased EL of plant membrane (P ≤ 0.05), and increased P N, transpiration rate (E) and stomatal conductance (g ₛ), while intercellular concentration of carbon dioxide (CO ₂; C ᵢ) significantly decreased (P ≤ 0.05) during both experimental years. There was a positive, but non-significant effect of B concentration on chlorophyll content in plant leaves. Application of 3.0 kg B ha ⁻¹ improved WUE up to 9.7% [4.62 μmol (CO ₂) mmol ⁻¹ water (H ₂O)] compared to control plants (4.21 [μmol (CO ₂) mmol ⁻¹ (H ₂O)]. Principal component analysis (PCA) of data indicates positive correlations between leaf B concentration and P N, E , g ₛ, and WUE, while a negative relationship existed between leaf B concentration and intercellular CO ₂ (C ᵢ). This study showed that addition of B fertilizer in the B-deficient calcareous soil proved beneficial for growth and development for cotton crop by enhancing its WUE and gas exchange characteristics.