Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Boron, Essential For The Growth Of Plants And Animals

27.02.2008
A research group from the biology department of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid has proven that boron, although only required in tiny doses, is essential for organogenesis in plants.

Research on the biological role of boron (B), a chemical element described almost a century ago as required in small quantities to maintain just the structure of plants, has given more relevance to its importance as an essential element for embryonic development and organogenesis in plants and animals.

Only a few of Earth's naturally occurring chemical elements make up living matter. Just six of them - carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorous and sulphur - make up for 99% of all living tissues. Nevertheless, other dietary minerals or trace elements are still crucial for all vital functions even if this may be in extremely low dosages. Some of these, such as iron, copper, cobalt, zinc or manganese, are required by all living forms and others are only associated with some groups, mainly because research has not been extended to include a wider range of living organisms.

Such is the case with boron (B), proven essential for the structure of plants in 1923 (Warington. Annals of Botany, Vol. 37: 629–672; 1923). Its activity depends on its presence as borate ion H4BO4- with the capacity to form bonds with molecules such as polysaccharides, glycoproteins or glycolipids. In this way, borate acts as a molecular staple that gives stability and functionality to biomolecules like pectins that make up the cellular wall of most higher terrestrial plants, or glycolipids of the bacterial cell wall (Bolaños et al. Plant, Physiology and Biochemistry, Vol. 42: 907–912; 2004). It has not been considered essential in animals, but nonetheless the disadvantages of a boron deficient diet, such as its negative effects on bone calcification, have already been studied. More recently, additional consequences on embryo development in fish and amphibians have been described where cellular proliferation lacks the differentiation required for the formation of tissues and organs, thereby demonstrating a failure in cellular signalling. Achieving a boron deficiency for experimentation in animals is very complicated, which makes the investigation more difficult.

Working with root nodules of legumes, which were the result of a complex and well controlled development procedure produced by the symbiotic interaction between nitrogen fixing bacteria (Rhizobium) and the plant, the research team managed by profesors Ildefonso Bonilla and Luis Bolaños (Biology Dep, UAM) have confirmed the necessity of borate for the stability of glycoproteins in the cellular membrane Plant, Cell & Environment, Vol. 30:1436–1443; 2007). Boron deficiency causes a lack of glycoproteins in these very membranes, leading to the same development alteration as in the case of amphibians and fish - an extensive cellular proliferation but no subsequent differentiation of tissue which manifests as small tumour structures in the legumes roots. Coinciding with these investigations, it has been described that the use of boric acid H3BO3 inhibits the cellular proliferation of some prostate and breast cancers (Meacham et al., en: Advances in Plant and Animal Boron Nutrition, Pp: 299-306; Springer 2007).

With this in mind, Doctors Bonilla and Bolaños have proposed a model describing the need for proper boron nutrition in animals too. (Plant, Signaling & Behavior, Vol. 3; 2008), This model is based on the role of the dietary element as an stabilising factor for membrane glycoproteins involved in the communication between cells and necessary for the regulation of development procedures and whose lack causes an abnormal cellular proliferation processes.

Oficina de Cultura Científica | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uam.es

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Energy crop production on conservation lands may not boost greenhouse gases
13.03.2017 | Penn State

nachricht How nature creates forest diversity
07.03.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>