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Trends Plant Sci. 2008 Aug;13(8):451-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2008.05.007. Epub 2008 Jul 4.

Boron transport mechanisms: collaboration of channels and transporters.

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Biotechnology Research Center, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan.


Boron (B) is an essential element for plants, but is also toxic when present in excess. B deficiency and toxicity are both major agricultural problems worldwide, and elucidating the molecular mechanisms of B transport should allow us to develop technology to alleviate B deficiency and toxicity problems. Recent milestones include the identification of a boric acid channel, NIP5;1, and a boric acid/borate exporter, BOR1, from Arabidopsis thaliana. Both proteins were shown to be required for plant growth under B limitation. In addition, BOR1 homologs are required for B homeostasis in mammalian cells and B-toxicity tolerance in yeast and plants. Here, we discuss how transgenic approaches show promise for generating crops that are tolerant of B deficiency and toxicity.

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