Author(s): E Marentes, R A Vanderpool
Naturally-occurring variations in the abundance of stable isotopes of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and other elements in plants have been reported and are now used to understand various physiological processes in plants. Boron (B) isotopic variation in several plant species has been documented, but no determination as to whether plants fractionate the stable isotopes of boron, 11B and 10B, has been made. Here, we report that plants with differing B requirements (wheat, corn and broccoli) fractionated boron. The whole plant was enriched in 11B relative to the nutrient solution, and the leaves were enriched in 10B and the stem in 11B relative to the xylem sap. Although at present, a mechanistic role for boron in plants is uncertain, potential fractionating mechanisms are discussed.