Plants Tolerant of High Boron Levels

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Science  30 Nov 2007:
Vol. 318, Issue 5855, pp. 1417
DOI: 10.1126/science.1146634

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Reduced crop productivity due to soils containing toxic levels of boron (B) is a worldwide problem in food production. It is estimated that up to 17% of the barley yield losses in southern Australia are caused by B toxicity. We found that the expression of AtBOR4, an Arabidopsis paralog of BOR1, the first identified boron transporter gene, generates plants that are tolerant of high B levels. BOR4 is a polarly localized borate exporter that enhances B efflux from roots. The present study is a foundation for the improvement of crop productivity in soils containing excess B, which are distributed in arid areas of the world.

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