Citrus Fruits and Boron: What You Need to Know

citrus fruits

citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are an important part of many diets. Boron is a trace mineral used in the manufacture of citrus fruits for plant development and to maintain fruit quality.

NEW YORK, U.S., Sept. 22, 2022 / — Citrus fruits are an important part of many diets around the world. Rich in vitamin C and other nutrients, they are used in recipes as a side dish, added to salads or made into juices. Boron is a trace element used in the manufacture of citrus fruits. It is required for proper plant development and maintaining consistent fruit yield and quality.

What Happens When Citrus Fruits Are Boron Deficient?
Boron deficiency is a global problem that is becoming more difficult with the increasing presence of acidic and alkaline soils. Citrus trees grow more often on such soils.

Once plants enter the reproductive phase in such soils, there is a time lag between when fertilizers are applied to plants and how much nutrients from the fertilizer enter the fruit annually. Long juvenile periods follow, ranging from 4-5 years for budded plants to 8-9 years for seedling plants.

Boron is an essential mineral for the growth and function of citrus plants, but it is often lacking in many soils. Extensive deficiency (39-68%) is observed in red and lateritic soils and depleted acidic soils in the hot semi-arid ecoregion.

It is also found in alluvium-derived soils in the hot, subhumid ecoregion, brown and red hillock soils in the warm, humid ecoregion, and heavily calcareous soils in the hot, subhumid ecoregion. These are the climate and soil combinations where the best citrus fruits are produced in large quantities in countries like Brazil, China and Japan.

The role of boron in flower initiation, pollen germination, N metabolism, hormonal influences and Ca conservation is well known. It is an essential nutrient as a unionized atom in the soil solution, and plant roots take it up as boric acid. Boron, when ingested, is tacitly distributed to various plant organs via the transpiration stream.

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An analysis of chronological advances in multiple facets of B-nutrition using citrus as the perennial test crop was reviewed to exploit the potential benefits of B-fertilization for citrus production.

Identification of B-Restrictions
A variety of techniques are commonly used to detect B restrictions in citrus trees. These are citrus deficiencies identified by fruit analysis, leaf analysis, soil analysis, and biochemical markers.

Morphological deficiency symptoms
These symptoms include:

The mature leaves become yellowish to bronze, stretched and brittle, with a descending curl at 90 degrees to the midrib.
The veins are elongated and become corky, separating the upper surface.
Shoots from numerous buds form a head-like cabbage growth.
Cracks developed in the bark of the internodes exposing amber gum and woody tissue.
Gummy granules form in the fruit albedo and the leaf veining is rough.
Fruits are distorted. The skin is rough and thick, and the flesh often has brown spots.
leaf analysis
Leaf analysis is derived from four factors:

A leaf is a primary site for metabolic activity;
Variations in nutrients are reflected in leaf content;
The variations are more pronounced in certain developmental stages than in others and
The nutrient content in the leaves at a given growth stage is related to plant productivity.
The main techniques used to create foliar nutrient guides are the sand culture technique and plant modeling after the information has been derived through a thorough study of citrus trees and field experiments.

Here is some experimental data from a study conducted in the United States.

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Source –

soil analysis
Various soil conditions that lead to boron deficiency include:

Acidic soils, regardless of feedstock, with excess leached B;
Soils inherently poor in B, particularly those arising from igneous and metamorphic sandstone rocks;
Alkaline soils rich in total B but poor in available B;
Laterite soils with limited silica and high Fe and Mn content;
Acid mud or peat soils; and,
Soil with low clay composition.
Biochemical markers
The activity of phenylalanine ammonia lyase in various plant species varied, suggesting that the test plants were susceptible to boron deficiency in different ways. B deficiency in tanning plant tissues is associated with accumulation of polyphenolic compounds and interference with cell wall synthesis.

Because B interacts with six phosphoglucose acids to produce an enzyme-inhibited compound, it controls phenol synthesis, thereby protecting B-deficient leaves from necrotic death. Symptoms of boron toxicity include unusual areas of yellowish-orange tint between veins along the margin and tips of the leaf surface. There is also some lace and defoliation.

Effects of boron on citrus fruit production
1. Fruit Yield:
Citrus fruits are very sensitive to boron, resulting in substantial yields.

2. Fruit number and fruit weight:
The number of citrus fruits per tree increases, fruit drop is reduced and fruit weight is increased.

3. Juice content:
Boron provides a positive impact on juice content by accelerating ripening and ripening, thus increasing the harvest’s marketability.

4. Total dissolved solids (TSS):
Boron directly affects fruit quality by escalating sugar levels.

5. Vitamin C:
Boron can also increase the vitamin C content of fruits.

A quick note on citrus fruits
Flowering trees and shrubs produce citrus fruits. They have a white pith and a leathery bark surrounding succulent segments. They are native to Australia, New Caledonia, New Guinea and perhaps Southeast Asia. They are now grown worldwide in tropical and subtropical climates. The main production centers are Spain, China, Brazil, Mexico, the United States and India. Amazingly, almost a third of all citrus fruits are juiced.

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Here is a list of citrus flavors:
1. Sweet Oranges:
Navel, Valencia, Karakara, Blood Orange

2. Tangerines:
Clementine, Tangelo, Satsuma, Tangor

3. Limes:
Key Lime, Persian, Kaffir

4. Grapefruit:
Ruby red, oroblanco

5. Lemons:
Meyer, Eureka

6. Other types:
Yuzu, lemon, pomelos, sudachi

Use of citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are known for their refreshing taste and their use in a variety of dishes, from savory to sweet. They can be used as a side dish, added to salads, or made into juices and jams.

Citrus fruits are also used in many beauty products like facial cleansers and toners. The acidic nature of citrus fruits helps to exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells. Citrus fruits are also said to boost collagen production, which can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Brendan McMahon
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