chapter  8
42 Pages

Boron

In the early twentieth century, boron (B) was discovered to be ubiquitously present in plant tissue (Agulhon, 1910) and to be benecial for the growth of corn (Zea mays L.) (Mazé, 1919). It was, however, the work of Warington (1923) that secured strong experimental evidence of the essentiality of B for broad bean (Vicia faba L.), and later, research showed the essentiality for other species (Sommer and Lipman, 1926; Sommer, 1927). It rapidly became clear that the B requirement is highly variable among plant species, and plants were categorized into three main groups: (1) graminaceous species (especially of the order Poales) with the lowest B demand, (2) nongrass monocots and most dicots with an intermediate requirement, and (3) some latex-producing species with a very high B demand (Goldbach, 1997).