Distribution and Mobility of Foliar-Applied Boron (10B) in Citrange Rootstock Under Different Boron Conditions


Although foliar-applied boron (B) could rapidly and effectively relieve B deficiency of plants, the distribution and mobility of foliar-applied B in citrange, an important rootstock of citrus, are poorly understood. This study aimed to investigate the transportation and variation of B allocation in different parts of citrange under different B conditions by spraying 10B on the lower mature leaves of citrange rootstock for 8 weeks. The results indicated that foliar B on lower mature leaves led to higher 10B abundance and 10B concentration in different parts of plants. Compared with the low-B plants, 10B abundance in stems, lower, and upper mature leaves of medium-B plants increased 23.95, 7.22, and 8.33% respectively. Moreover, under low- and medium-B conditions, abundance and percentage of 10B were higher in roots than that in other tissues after foliar application 10B. Meanwhile, abundance and percentage of foliar-10B in stems and old leaves under B-insufficient condition were much lower than that of B-sufficient condition. Furthermore, the 10B allocation rate was the highest in roots under the two different B conditions. There were higher 10B allocation rates in new leaves and lower mature leaves, and lower 10B allocation rates in stems and upper mature leaves in medium-B plants comparing with that in low-B plants. All these results suggest that foliar-applied 10B on lower mature leaves could be translocated to every part of citrange rootstock, with the majority distributed in roots, and the mobility of foliar B from lower mature leaves to other parts was different between low- and medium-B treatments, leading to a significant variation in translocation rate for each part of citrange.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5



Low boron

LB + F:

Low boron + foliar-B fertilization


Medium boron

MB + F:

Medium boron + foliar boron fertilization


Boron obtained from foliar fertilization with H103BO3


Allocation rate of 10B obtained from foliar boron


Lower mature leaves


Upper mature leaves


New leaves


  1. Asad A, Blamey FPC, Edwards DG (2003) Effects of boron foliar applications on vegetative and reproductive growth of sunflower. Ann Bot 92:565–570

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  2. Bellaloui N, Brown PH, Dandekar AM (1999) Manipulation of in vivo sorbitol production alters boron uptake and transport in tobacco. Plant Physiol 119:735–741

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  3. Bellaloui N, Yadavc RC, Chern MS, Hu H, Gillen AM, Greve C, Dandekar AM, Ronald PC, Brown PH (2003) Transgenically enhanced sorbitol synthesis facilitates phloem boron mobility in rice. Physiol Plant 117:79–84

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Bieleski RL (2005) Taxonomic patterns in the distribution of polyols within the proteaceae. Aust J Bot 53:205–217

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Bogiani JC, Sampaio TF, Abreu-Junior CH, Rosolem CA (2014) Boron uptake and translocation in some cotton cultivars. Plant Soil 375(1–2):241–253

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Brown PH, Hu H (1996) Phloem mobility of boron is species dependent: evidence for phloem mobility in sorbitol-rich species. Ann Bot 77:497–506

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Brown PH, Bellaloui N, Hu H, Dandekar A (1999) Transgenically enhanced sorbitol synthesis facilitates phloem boron transport and increases tolerance of tobacco to boron deficiency. Plant Physiol 119(1):17–20

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  8. Dong XC, Liu GD, Wu XW, Lu XP, Muhammad R, Yan L, Jiang CC (2016) Different metabolite profile and metabolic pathway with leaves and roots in response to boron deficiency at the initial stage of citrus rootstock growth. Plant Physiol Biochem 108:121–131

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Eichert T, Goldbach HE (2010) Transpiration rate affects the mobility of foliar-applied boron in Ricinus communis L. cv. Impala. Plant Soil 328:165–174

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Forner-Giner MA, Alcaide A, Primo-Millo E, Forner JB (2003) Performance of ‘Navelina’ orange on 14 rootstocks in Northern Valencia (Spain). Sci Hortic 98:223–232

    Google Scholar 

  11. Gondim ARDO, Prado RDM, Filho ABC, Alves AU, Correia MAR (2015) Boron foliar application in nutrition and yield of beet and tomato. J Plant Nutr 38(10):1573–1579

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Han S, Chen LS, Jiang HX, Smith BR, Yang LT, Xie CY (2008) Boron deficiency decreases growth and photosynthesis, and increases starch and hexoses in leaves of citrus seedlings. J Plant Physiol 165:1331–1341

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Hoagland DR, Arnon DI (1950) The water-culture method for growing plants without soil. Circ Calif Agric Exp Stn 347(5406):357–359

    Google Scholar 

  14. Hu H, Penn SG, Lebrilla CB, Brown PH (1997) Isolation and characterization of soluble boron complexes in higher plants-the mechanism of phloem mobility of boron. Plant Physiol 113(2):649–655

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  15. Huang L, Bell RW, Dell B (2008) Evidence of phloem boron transport in response to interrupted boron supply in white lupin (Lupinus albus L. cv. Kiev Mutant) at the reproductive stage. J Exp Bot 59:575–583

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Jiang CC, Wang YH, Liu GD, Xia Y, Peng SA, Zhong BL, Zeng QL (2009) Effect of boron on the leaves etiolation and fruit fallen of Newhall Navel Orange. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 15(3):656–661

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Konsaeng S, Dell B, Rerkasem B (2010) Boron mobility in peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.). Plant Soil 330:281–289

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Lehto T, Räisänen M, Lavola A, Julkunen-Tiitto R, Aphalo PJ (2004) Boron mobility in deciduous forest trees in relation to their polyols. New Phytol 163:333–339

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Leite VM, Brown PH, Rosolem CA (2007) Boron translocation in coffee trees. Plant Soil 290:221–229

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Liu GD, Jiang CC, Wang YH (2010) Distribution of boron and its forms in young ‘Newhall’ navel orange (Citrus sinensis Osb.) plants grafted on two rootstocks in response to deficient and excessive boron. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 57:93–104

    Google Scholar 

  21. Liu GD, Wang RD, Wu LS, Peng SA, Wang YH, Jiang CC (2012) Boron distribution and mobility in navel orange grafted on citrange and trifoliate orange. Plant Soil 360(1–2):123–133

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. Liu GD, Wang RD, Liu LC, Wu LS, Jiang CC (2013) Cellular boron allocation and pectin composition in two citrus rootstock seedlings differing in boron deficiency response. Plant Soil 370:555–565

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. Loomis WD, Durst RW (1992) Chemistry and biology of boron. BioFactors 3:229–239

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. Marentes E, Shelp BJ, Vanderpool RA, Spiers GA (1997) Retranslocation of boron in broccoli and lupin during early reproductive growth. Physiol Plant 100:389–399

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. Matoh T, Ochiai K (2005) Distribution and partitioning of newly taken-up boron in sunflower. Plant Soil 278:351–360

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. Mattiello EM, Ruiz HA, Silva IR, Sarkis JES, Neves JCL, Pucci MM (2009) Phloem mobility of boron in two eucalypt clones. R Bras Ci Solo 33:1695–1704

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. Mesquita GL, Zambrosi FC, Tanaka FA, Boaretto RM, Quaggio JA, Ribeiro RV, Mattos DJ (2016) Anatomical and physiological responses of citrus trees to varying boron availability are dependent on rootstock. Front Plant Sci 7:1–12

    Google Scholar 

  28. Picchioni GA, Weinbaum SA, Brown PH (1995) Retention and the kinetics of uptake and export of foliage-applied, labeled boron by apple, pear, prune, and sweet cherry leaves. J Am Soc Hortic Sci 120:28–35

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. Shelp BJ, Vivekanandan P, Vanderpool RA, Kitheka AM (1996) Translocation and effectiveness of foliar-fertilized boron in broccoli plants of varying boron status. Plant Soil 183:309–313

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  30. Takano J, Yamagami M, Noguchi K, Hayashi H, Fujiwara T (2001) Preferential translocation of boron to young leaves in Arabidopsis thaliana regulated by the BOR1 gene. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 47:345–357

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  31. Vorasoot N, Songsri P, Akkasaeng C, Jogloy S, Patanothai A (2003) Effect of water stress on yield and agronomical characters of peanut. Songklanakarin J Sci Technol 25:283–288

    Google Scholar 

  32. Wang RD, Liu GD, Liu LC, Jiang CC (2013) Effects of boron deficiency and excess on rootstock growth and root morphology in trifoliate orange seedlings. J Food Agric Environ 11:817–823

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  33. Will S, Eichert T, Fernández V, Möhring J, Müller T, Römheld V (2011) Absorption and mobility of foliar-applied boron in soybean as affected by plant boron status and application as a polyol complex. Plant Soil 344:283–293

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  34. Xiao JX, Yan X, Peng SA, Fang YW (2007) Seasonal changes of mineral nutrients in fruit and leaves of ‘Newhall’ and ‘Skagg’s Bonanza’ navel oranges. J Plant Nutr 30:671–690

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  35. Xie Q, Wei WX, Wang WH (1992) Studies on absorption, translocation and distribution of boron in cotton (Gossypium airsutum. L.). Acta Agron Sin 18:31–37

    Google Scholar 

  36. Zhou GF, Liu YZ, Sheng O, Wei QJ, Yang CQ, Peng SA (2014) Transcription profiles of boron-deficiency-responsive genes in citrus rootstock root by suppression subtractive hybridization and cDNA microarray. Front Plant Sci 5:795

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references


This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41271320) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2017PY055).

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Cuncang Jiang.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Wu, X., Riaz, M., Yan, L. et al. Distribution and Mobility of Foliar-Applied Boron (10B) in Citrange Rootstock Under Different Boron Conditions. J Plant Growth Regul 39, 575–582 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00344-019-10001-6

Download citation


  • Foliar-applied 10B
  • Translocation
  • Mobility
  • Citrange rootstock