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Coffee Leaf And Stem Anatomy Under Boron Deficiency

Ciro Antonio Rosolem, Vagner Maximino Leite

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Boron deficiency in coffee is widely spread in Brazilian plantations, but responses to B fertilizer have been erratic, depending on the year, form and time of application and B source. A better understanding of the effects of B on plant physiology and anatomy is important to establish a rational fertilization program since B translocation within the plant may be affected by plant anatomy. In this experiment, coffee plantlets of two varieties were grown in nutrient solutions with B levels of 0.0 (deficient), 5.0 µM (adequate) and 25.0 µM (high). At the first symptoms of deficiency, leaves were evaluated, the cell walls separated and assessed for B and Ca concentrations. Scanning electron micrographs were taken of cuts of young leaves and branch tips. The response of both coffee varieties to B was similar and toxicity symptoms were not observed. Boron concentrations in the cell walls increased with B solution while Ca concentrations were unaffected. The Ca/B ratio decreased with the increase of B in the nutrient solution. In deficiency of B, vascular tissues were disorganized and xylem walls thinner. B-deficient leaves had fewer and deformed stomata.