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Optimum ratio of calcium and boron in the nutrient solution or in castor bean shoot for fruit yield and seed oil content

Franco, Henrique Coutinho Junqueira, Junior, José Lavres, de Oliveira, Adilson, Matias, Gean Carlos Silva, Cabral, Cleusa Pereira, Malavolta, Eurípedes
Journal of plant nutrition 2012 v.35 no.3 pp. 413-427
Ricinus communis, boron, calcium, castor beans, culture media, fruit yield, growing media, leaves, lipid content, magnesium, nutrient content, nutrient solutions, plant tissues, potassium, seed oils, seed yield, shoots
Calcium (Ca) and boron (B) have been reported as the major macro- and micronutrient required for castor bean plant yield. The objective of this study was to determine the Ca:B ratios (in the growth media and plant tissue) for fruit yield and shoot dry weight of the castor bean (Ricinus communis L.), grown in a nutrient solution, and to evaluate Ca and B supply on concentration and total uptake of Ca, potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), and B, as well on the seed oil content. The treatments were arranged in a 3 × 3 factorial fashion, consisting of three rates of Ca (40, 80, and 160 mg L⁻¹) and three of B (0.32, 0.96, and 1.60 mg L⁻¹). Calcium and B rates increased the shoot and root dry weight and fruit yield at a Ca:B ratio in the nutrient solution of 166 and 100, respectively. Symptoms of B deficiency were observed in plants supplied with 0.32 mg B L⁻¹, regardless of the Ca concentration in the nutrient solution. Plants which showed visual symptoms of Ca deficiency cultivated with 40 mg Ca L⁻¹ presented concentration of Ca in plant tissue up to 10 g kg⁻¹. The concentration and total Ca and B uptake increased with the rates of them. Notwithstanding, the shoot Ca accumulation was improved by B rates. In addition, there were no decreases in K and Mg uptake due to Ca rates. Furthermore, addition of 80 mg L⁻¹ of Ca and 1.60 mg L⁻¹ of B in the growth media increased the seed oil content. The Ca:B ratio in the diagnostic leaf associated with the highest plant dry weight (shoot and root) and fruit yield, was 500 (16 to 20 g kg⁻¹ of Ca, and for 30 to 40 mg kg⁻¹ of B).