Scientists at the University of Missouri made an invaluable discovery that could possibly remedy the dilemma of corn and soybean producers across the eastern half of the United States. After using an array of techniques, the researchers from different disciplines found out boron is responsible for the development of plant stem cells, or meristems, which is vital in tassel growth.
Boron Deficiency in Corn
Before this scientific breakthrough, everyone knew that boron-deficient fields lead to reduced crop yields. According to the findings, researchers prove that corns use this essential nutrient to develop specialized stem cells to grow tassels and kernels.
At the cellular level, boron strengthens pectin, a component that prevents meristems to disintegrate. Another experiment revealed that genetic mutation prevents boron transportation across different plant membranes, which leads to stunted tassel growth.
What This Means for Farmers
This understanding will help corn growers make informed decisions. Knowing the value of using supplements on soils lacking boron, rather than water alone, is crucial to grow sufficient amounts of crops.
Because of this new knowledge, farmers now have a solid basis to invest in boron supplements.