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J Plant Physiol. 2006 Apr;163(6):591-600. Epub 2005 Dec 2.

Involvement of auxin and CKs in boron deficiency induced changes in apical dominance of pea plants (Pisum sativum L.).

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Department of Plant Nutrition, China Agricultural University, 100094 Beijing, China.


It has previously been shown that boron (B) deficiency inhibits growth of the plant apex, which consequently results in a relatively weak apical dominance, and a subsequent sprouting of lateral buds. Auxin and cytokinins (CKs) are the two most important phytohormones involved in the regulation of apical dominance. In this study, the possible involvement of these two hormones in B-deficiency-induced changes in apical dominance was investigated by applying B or the synthetic CK CPPU to the shoot apex of pea plants grown in nutrient solution without B supply. Export of IAA out of the shoot apex, as well as the level of IAA, Z/ZR and isopentenyl-adenine/isopentenyl-adenosine (i-Ade/i-Ado) in the shoot apex were assayed. In addition, polar IAA transport capacity was measured in two internodes of different ages using 3H-IAA. In B-deficient plants, both the level of auxin and CKs were reduced, and the export of auxin from the shoot apex was considerably decreased relative to plants well supplied with B. Application of B to the shoot apex restored the endogenous Z/ZR and IAA level to control levels and increased the export of IAA from the shoot apex, as well as the 3H-IAA transport capacity in the newly developed internodes. Further, B application to the shoot apex inhibited lateral bud growth and stimulated lateral root formation, presumably by stimulated polar IAA transport. Applying CPPU to the shoot apex, a treatment that stimulates IAA export under adequate B supply, considerably reduced the endogenous Z/ZR concentration in the shoot apex, but had no stimulatory effect on IAA concentration and transport in B-deficient plants. A similar situation appeared to exist in lateral buds of B-deficient plants as, in contrast to plants well supplied with B, application of CKs to these plants did not stimulate lateral bud growth. In contrast to the changes of Z/ZR levels in the shoot apex, which occurred after application of B or CPPU, the levels of i-Ade/i-Ado stayed more or less constant. These results suggest that there is a complex interaction between B supply and plant hormones, with a B-deficiency-induced inhibition of IAA export from the shoot apex as one of the earliest measurable events.

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