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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2020-02-06
    Description: Rationale Boron (B) is an essential micronutrient in plants and its isotope variations are used to gain insights into plant metabolism, which is important for crop plant cultivation. B isotope variations were used to trace intraplant fractionation mechanisms in response to the B concentration in the irrigation water spanning the range from B depletion to toxic levels. Methods A fully validated analytical procedure based on MC‐ICP‐MS, sample decomposition and B matrix separation was applied to study B isotope fractionation. The validation was accomplished by establishing a complete uncertainty budget and by applying reference materials, yielding expanded measurement uncertainties of 0.8 ‰ for pure boric acid solutions and ≤ 1.5 ‰ for processed samples. With this validated procedure SI traceable B isotope amount ratios were determined in plant reference materials for the first time. Results The B isotope compositions of irrigation water and bell pepper samples suggest passive diffusion of the heavy 11B isotope into the roots during low to high B concentrations while uptake of the light 10B isotope was promoted during B depletion, probably by active processes. A systematic enrichment of the heavy 11B isotope in higher located plant parts was observed (average Δ11Bleaf‐roots = 20.3 ± 2.8 ‰ (1 SD)), possibly by a facilitated transport of the heavy 11B to growing meristems by B transporters. Conclusions B isotopes can be used to identify plant metabolism in response to the B concentration in the irrigation water and during intraplant B transfer. The large B isotope fractionation within the plants demonstrates the importance of biological B cycling for the global B cycle.
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  • 2
    OMICS International
    In:  Mass Spectrometry & Purification Techniques, 1 (101).
    Publication Date: 2018-09-24
    Description: Various plant compartments of a single bell pepper plant were studied to verify the variability of boron isotope composition in plants and to identify possible intra-plant isotope fractionation. Boron mass fractions varied from 9.8 mg/kg in the fruits to 70.0 mg/kg in the leaves. Boron (B) isotope ratios reported as δ11B ranged from -11.0‰ to +16.0‰ (U ≤ 1.9‰, k=2) and showed a distinct trend to heavier δ11B values the higher the plant compartments were located in the plant. A fractionation of Δ11Bleaf-roots = 27‰ existed in the studied bell pepper plant, which represents about 1/3 of the overall natural boron isotope variation (ca. 80‰). Two simultaneous operating processes are a possible explanation for the observed systematic intra-plant δ11B variation: 1) B is fixed in cell walls in its tetrahedral form (borate), which preferentially incorporates the light B isotope and the remaining xylem sap gets enriched in the heavy B isotope and 2) certain transporter preferentially transport the trigonal 11B-enriched boric acid molecule and thereby the heavy 11B towards young plant compartments which were situated distal of the roots and typically high in the plant. Consequently, an enrichment of the heavy 11B isotope in the upper young plant parts located at the top of the plant could explain the observed isotope systematic. The identification and understanding of the processes generating systematic intra-plant δ11B variations will potentially enable the use of B isotope for plant metabolism studies.
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