Almost all the cultivated plants have fruits as their final use. Crop management is then important to guarantee successful flowering, fruiting and ripening of the fruits.
In short, the flower is the reproductive structure of plants, which, after the fertilization, it generates one or more seeds covered by tissues of various types, which is what we commonly call fruits. Once the flower is fertilized, the phase of cell division begins, to then occur the phase of cell growth, and finally the maturation phase, which is when the fruits reach their commercial collection point.
For the entire process to be carried out optimally, it is necessary that the plant has at its disposal a wide variety of nutritional compounds, such as humic extracts, amino acids, vitamins, polysaccharides and mineral elements.
Among the mineral elements, the bibliography usually highlights phosphorus (P), potassium (K) and calcium (Ca) as the most important elements, remaining most of the time relegated or unnamed others such as zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo) or Boron (B).
This last element is one of the most unknown, but for about a century its essentiality in different physiological processes of plants is known, such as sugar transport, photosynthesis, nucleic acid metabolism and proteins, synthesis and stability of cell walls and membranes, etc., as well as more specific processes related to flowering, fruiting and quality of the fruits, among which we can agronomically highlight that:
- Improves the size and fertility of pollen grains and pollen tube development. In cases of boron deficiency, pollen germinates without fertilizing ending up in parthenocarpic fruits with alterations in the proportion rind / pulp.
- Increases the level of nectar in the flowers, which increases the attraction of the pollinating insects, such as bees.
- An adequate supply of Boron allows normal development of processes of cell division, fruit setting and fruiting, playing an essential role in the activity of meristems (growing tissues). In this way, it contributes to the synthesis of the membrane and cell wall of the fruits, since it acts on the formation of pectin and phenolic compounds involved in the formation of lignin, which are essential molecules to maintain the stability of these structures, thus preventing cracks, cavities, necrotic areas or reductions in fruit size, which affect commercial quality.
- Another essential function of boron is to help transport and accumulation of carbohydrates (sugars) through plant tissues. In cases of boron deficiency, sugars are immobilized and the translocation is seen reduced, watery or necrotic areas may appear.
The importance of Boron at vegetative level
- Intervenes in root division and development. Boron deficiency causes malformations in the meristematic tissues, both at the root level and air, as cells divide, but separation does not occur correctly, presenting an incomplete and irregular development, with a lack of elongation of internodes.
- In the formation of genetic material (DNA and RNA), boron is essential for the synthesis of uracil (nitrogenous base), therefore its deficiency affects the formation of ribosomes, leading to deficient protein synthesis.
- Boron deficiency can cause stalks or stems to be thicker, become fibrous and brittle.
- The roots thicken, sometimes become thinner and weaker, and present the necrotic tips, stopping growth.