Long- and short-term effects of boron excess to root form and function in two tomato genotypes.

Boron (B) is an essential plant nutrient, but when present in excess it is toxic. Morphological measurements were made to assess the impact of B toxicity on the growth of two different tomato hybrids, Losna and Ikram. Contrasting long and short-term B responses in these tomato hybrids, were observed. Losna showed less toxicity symptoms, maintaining higher growth and showing much less B content in both root and shoot tissues compared to Ikram. Root morphological differences did not explain the tolerance between the two hybrids. Under excess B supply, a significant inhibition on net nitrate uptake rate was observed in Ikram, but not in Losna. This effect may be explained by a decrease of nitrate transporter transcripts in Ikram, which was not measured in Losna. There was a different pattern of B transporter expression in two tomatoes and this can explain the contrasting tolerance observed. Indeed, Losna may be able to exclude or efflux B resulting in less accumulation in the shoot. Particularly, SlBOR4 expression showed significant differences between the tomato hybrids, with higher expression in Losna explaining the improved B-tolerance.