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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 86 No. 5, p. 887-890
    Received: Aug 20, 1993

    * Corresponding author(s): benjavan@cmu.chiangmai.ac.th
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Boron Deficiency in Two Wheat Genotypes in a Warm, Subtropical Region

  1. Benjavan Rerkasem  and
  2. Jack F. Loneragan
  1. F aculty of Agriculture, Chiang Mai Univ., Chiang Mai, Thailand ,50200
    S chool of Biological and Environmental Science, Murdoch Univ., Murdoch 6150, WA, Australia



Yield losses due to boron deficiency are becoming common in the warmer subtropical regions into which wheat has been expanding. This study evaluated the B response of two wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotypes (SW41 and Sonora 64) in Chiang Mai, Thailand. A sand culture experiment imposed six B levels in nutrient solution (0, 0.I, 0.2, 0.5, 1, and 10 µM B). A series of field experiments in a sandy loam (Typic Tropaqualf) under rainfed conditions imposed four levels of borax application (0, 0.5, 1, and 2 kg B ha−1) over three successive years. In sand culture, B deficiency depressed the number of grains per spikelet in both genotypes (more strongly in SW41 than in Sonora 64). At 0 µM B, SW41 had no grain in any spikelet. In the field, B deficiency depressed grain number and grain yield of SW41 but not Sonora 64. Flag leaf B at boot stage of both genotypes grown in sand culture was closely related to the number of grains per spikelet at maturity; the critical level was determined to be 3 mg B kg−1. For field-grown plants, the data suggest that, at the boot stage, flag leaf B concentrations of <5 mg kg−1are deficient, and >7 are sufficient. Boron deficiency can depress wheat yield through grain set failure, but susceptibility to B deficiency varies with genotype. Sensitivity to B deficiency should be included as a criterion for breeding programs for low-B soils.

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