Boron Nutrition of Cultured Tobacco BY-2 Cells

  • Masaru Kobayashi
  • Toru Matoh
Part of the Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry book series (AGRICULTURE, volume 53)


Boron (B) is one of the essential microelements for higher plants and its deficiency is one of the major constraints to crop production in many parts of the world (Shorrocks 1997). In B-deficient plants, the development and elongation of terminal buds and youngest leaves and root tips are inhibited. Inter-nodes become shorter, giving the plants a bushy or rosette appearance. Reproductive growth is more sensitive to B deficiency and failure in pollination, abscission of reproductive organs or falling of young fruits are typical symptoms of deficiency (Marschner 1995). However, the mechanism by which B influences these processes is not known yet. In the case of intact plants, deprivation of B stops root elongation, however, it is difficult to separate the B-affected cells from the bulk of cells. Cultured cells offer several advantages over intact plants for the research into the role of B. Firstly, a B-free culture medium is easily prepared. Secondly, the experimental results can be interpreted more clearly, because cultured cells are not differentiated. A requirement for boron by cultured plant cells has been reported in the case of rice (Ohira et al. 1975), carrot (Durst and Loomis 1984; Goldbach 1985) and cabbage (Bowen and Robbins 1988). The authors have been studying the physiological function of B in cultured tobacco BY-2 cells, because tobacco BY-2 cells propagate quickly and do not aggregate heavily. The authors found that deprivation of B brings about cell wall swelling and in those cell walls, the pectic polysaccharide chains are not cross-linked due to B deficiency. Based on the examination, the authors presented a tentative conclusion that B cross-links pectic polysaccharide chains and organizes the pectic network properly. In this chapter, the authors summarize research on the function of B in the cell wall using tobacco BY-2 cells and report their latest data of the response of tobacco BY-2 cells to B deficiency.


Cell Wall Relative Growth Rate Pectic Polysaccharide Borate Ester Sodium Dodesyl Sulfate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masaru Kobayashi
    • 1
  • Toru Matoh
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Nutrition Laboratory, Division of Applied Life Sciences, Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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