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Influence of Boron on Carrot Cell Wall Structure and Its Resistance to Fracture

Singh, Davinder Pal, Liu, Li Hui, Oiseth, Kihlman, Beloy, Joel, Lundin, Leif, Gidley, Michael J., Day, Li
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2010 v.58 no.16 pp. 9181–9189
carrots, cell walls, cell wall components, boron, plant nutrition, Daucus carota, calcium, nutrient availability, boron fertilizers, calcium fertilizers, mechanical properties, cultivars, nutrient solutions, nutrient uptake, nutrient-nutrient interactions, weight, diameter, length, crosslinking, pectins, galacturonans
Plant cell wall structure integrity and associated tissue mechanical properties is one of key determinants for the perceived texture of plant-based foods. Carrots (Daucus carota) were used to investigate the effect of mineral supply of boron (B) and/or calcium (Ca), during plant growth, on the plant cell wall structure and mechanical properties of matured root tissues. Five commercial cultivars of carrots, Kuroda (orange), Dragon Purple, Kuttiger White, Yellow, and Nutri-Red, were cultivated under controlled glasshouse conditions over two seasons. Significant increases in the accumulation of B and Ca were found for all cultivars of carrots when additional B and Ca were included in the nutrient feeding solutions throughout the plant growth period. Elevated levels of B in carrot root tissue reduced the uptake of Ca and other mineral nutrients and enhanced plant cell wall structural integrity, its resistance to fracture, and the weight and size (both diameter and length) of carrots. Although higher amounts of Ca were accumulated in the plant materials, the additional supply of Ca did not have a significant effect on the mechanical properties of mature plant tissues or on the uptake of B by the plant. The results suggest that B cross-linking of pectin (rhamnogalacturonan II) has a greater influence on mature tissue mechanical properties than Ca cross-linking of pectin (homogalacturonan) when supplied during plant growth.