Sains Malaysiana 45(10)(2016): 1497–1507


Foliar Boron Spray for Improved Yield, Oil Quality and Water Use Efficiency in Water Stressed Sunflower

(Semburan Boron Daun untuk Hasil yang Lebih Baik, Kualiti Minyak dan Kecekapan Penggunaan Air dalam Bunga Matahari Bertekanan Air)





1Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad-38040, Pakistan


2Edible Fats & Oils Laboratory, NIFSAT, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad-38040, Pakistan


Received: 12 May 2015/Accepted: 10 March 2016



Boron (B) is a mineral considered essential for improving sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) resistance to drought. B supplements (0, 15-, 30- and 45 mg L-1) under well-watered and variable water deficit levels (64 and 53 mm irrigation depths) were evaluated for their effects on growth, oil quality and water use efficiency (WUE) in a field study for two consecutive years (i.e. 2011 and 2012). The duration of 50% inflorescence emergence, 50% flowering and 50% maturity stages were reduced with increasing moisture stress. All B application rates improved sunflower growth compared to no B control treatment. The moisture deficit treatments of 64 and 53 mm irrigation depths significantly (p<0.05) reduced the yield-related components. Achenes/head, achenes weight and achene yield under water stress conditions were considerably improved by foliar application of B at 30 mg L-1. An increase in protein contents and a decrease in oil contents were observed with B foliar application under moisture deficit treatments. Foliar application of B (30 mg L-1) on water stressed plants also resulted in increased WUE. The highest net benefits were achieved with B concentration of 30 mg L-1 under well-watered and mild deficit water level of 64 mm irrigation depth. The highest application rate of B (45 mg L-1) gave the best results at the most severe water deficit level. In conclusion, the B rates of 30 and 41 mg L-1 performed best for improving drought tolerance in terms of higher sunflower productivity under mild and higher water deficit conditions.


Keywords: Boron; fatty acids; Helianthus annuus; water deficit; water use efficiency



Boron (B) adalah mineral yang dianggap penting bagi meningkatkan rintangan bunga matahari (Helianthus annuus L.) kepada kemarau. B tambahan (0, 15, 30 dan 45 mg L-1) paras defisit air baik dan berubah-ubah (64 dan 53 mm kedalaman pengairan) telah dinilai untuk melihat kesannya terhadap pertumbuhan, kualiti minyak dan kecekapan penggunaan air (WUE) dalam kajian lapangan selama dua tahun berturut-turut (2011 dan 2012). Peringkat tempoh 50% kemunculan perbungaan, 50% perbungaan dan 50% matang telah dikurangkan dengan meningkatkan tekanan lembapan. Semua kadar penggunaan B meningkatkan pertumbuhan bunga matahari berbanding rawatan tanpa kawalan B. Rawatan kekurangan lembapan dengan kedalaman pengairan 64 dan 53 mm (p<0.05) dengan ketaranya mengurangkan hasil berkaitan komponen. Aken/kepala, berat aken dan hasil aken dalam keadaan bertekanan air telah bertambah baik dengan penggunaan daun B pada 30 mg L-1. Peningkatan kandungan protein dan penurunan kandungan minyak diperhatikan dengan penggunaan daun B pada rawatan defisit lembapan. Penggunaan daun B (30 mg L-1) pada tumbuh-tumbuhan bertekanan air telah meningkatkan WUE. Faedah bersih tertinggi dicapai dengan kepekatan B 30 mg L-1 dengan paras air baik dan sederhana defisit pada kedalaman saliran 64 mm. Kadar aplikasi tertinggi B (45 mg L-1) memberikan hasil terbaik pada peringkat defisit air paling teruk. Kesimpulannya, kadar B pada 30 dan 41 mg L-1 adalah terbaik untuk memperbaiki toleransi kemarau daripada segi produktiviti bunga matahari dalam keadaan defisit air sederhana dan tinggi.


Kata kunci: Asid lemak; boron; defisit air; Helianthus annuus; kecekapan penggunaan air


Agarwala, S.C. & Chatterjee, C. 1996. Physiology and biochemistry of micronutrient elements. In Advancements in Micronutrients, edited by Hemantaranjan, A. Jodhpur, India: Scientific Publishers. pp. 205-366.

Ali, H., Iqbal, N., Ahmad, S., Shahzad, A.N. & Sarwar, N. 2013. Performance of late sown wheat crop under different planting geometries and irrigation regimes in arid climate. Soil & Tillage Research 130: 109-119.

Ali, Q., Ashraf, M. & Anwar, F. 2009. Physico-chemical attributes of seed oil from drought stressed sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) plants. Grasas Y aceites 60: 475-481.

Amutha, R., Muthulaksmi, S., Baby-Rani, W., Indira, K. & Mareeswari, P. 2007. Studies on biochemical basis of heat tolerance in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Research Journal of Agriculture and Biological Sciences 3: 234-238.

AOAC. 1990. Official Methods of Analysis. 15th ed. Virginia: Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Inc. pp: 770-771.

Asada, K. 2006. Production and scavenging of reactive oxygen species in chloroplasts and their functions. Plant Physiology 141: 391-396.

ASAE. 1977. Moisture Measurements in Grains and Seeds. Standard 353. American Society of Agricultural Engineers Yearbook. p. 417.

Bellaloui, N. 2012. Soybean seed phenol, lignin, and isoflavones and sugars composition altered by foliar boron application in soybean under water stress. Food and Nutrition Sciences 3: 579-590.

Bellaloui, N. 2011. Effect of water stress and foliar boron application on seed protein, oil, fatty acids, and nitrogen metabolism in soybean. American Journal of Plant Sciences 2: 692-701.

Blum, A. 2005. Drought resistance, water-use efficiency, and yield potential-are they compatible, dissonant, or mutually exclusive? Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 56: 1159-1168.

Bremner, J. 1964. Organic forms of nitrogen. In Methods of Soil Analysis, Part-2. Am. Soc. of Agron, Inc., edited by Black, C.A. Medison, Wisconson. 9: 1235-1255.

Broschat, T.K. 2005. Boron deficiency in palms. University of Florida, Environmental Horticultural Department Circular ENH1012. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida.

Christensen, P. 2005. Foliar fertilization in vine mineral nutrient management programs. In Proceedings of the Soil Environment and Vine Mineral Nutrition Symposium, edited by Christensen, P. & Smart, D.R. CA: American Society of Enology and Viticulture Davis. pp. 83-90.

Demir, A.O., Goksoy, A.T., Buyukcangaz, H., Turan, Z.M. & Koksal, E.S. 2006. Deficit irrigation of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) in a sub-humid climate. Irrigation Science 24: 279-289.

Dordas, C. & Brown, P.H. 2005. Boron deficiency affects cell viability, phenolic leakage and oxidative burst in rose cell cultures. Plant and Soil 268: 293-301.

Flagella, Z., Rotunno, T., Tarantito, E., Caterina, R.D. & Caro, A.D. 2002. Changes in seed yield and oil fatty acid composition of high oleic sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) hybrids in relation to the sowing date and the water regime. European Journal of Agronomy 17: 221-230.

Flexas, J. & Medrano, H. 2002. Drought-inhibition of photosynthesis in C3 plants: Stomatal and non-stomatal limitations revisited. Annals of Botany 89: 183-189.

Freed, R.D. & Eisensmith, S.P. 1986. M. Stat. Micro-Computer Programme, Michigan State Univ. Agric. Michigan, Lansing, USA (Unpublished).

Hajiboland, R. & Bastani, S. 2012. Tolerance to water stress in boron-deficient tea (Camellia sinensis) plants. Folia Horticulturae 24: 41-51.

Han, S., Chen, L.S., Jiang, H.X., Smith, B.R., Yang, L.T. & Xie, C.Y. 2008. Boron deficiency decreases growth and photosynthesis, and increases starch and hexoses in leaves of citrus seedlings. Journal of Plant Physiology 165: 1331-1341.

Hassan, N.M., El-Sayed, A.K.A., Ebeid, H.T. & Nemat Alla, M.M. 2011. Molecular aspects in elevation of sunflower tolerance to drought by boron and calcium foliar sprays. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum 33: 593-600.

Huang, L., Pant, J., Dell, B. & Bell, R.W. 2000. Effects of boron deficiency on another development and floret fertility in wheat (Triticum aestivum L. ‘Wilgoyne’). Annals of Botany 85: 493-500.

Imran, M., Ali, A., Waseem, M., Tahir, M., Mohsin, A., Shehzad, M., Ghaffari, A. & Rehman, H. 2011. Bio-economic assessment of sunflower-mungbean intercropping system at different planting geometry. International Research Journal of Agricultural Science and Soil Science 1: 126-136.

Jabeen, N. & Ahmad, R. 2011. Effect of foliar applied boron and manganese on growth and biochemical activities in sunflower under saline conditions. Pakistan Journal of Botany 43: 1271-1282.

Jaleel, C.A., Manivannan, P., Kishorekumar, A., Sankar, B., Gopi, R., Somasundaram, R. & Panneerselvam, R. 2007. Alterations in osmoregulation, antioxidant enzymes and indole alkaloid levels in Catharanthus roseus exposed to water deficit. Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces 59: 150-157.

Karim, M.R., Zhang, Y.Q., Zhao, R.R., Chen, X.P., Zhang, F.S. & Zou, C.Q. 2012. Alleviation of drought stress in winter wheat by late foliar application of zinc, boron, and manganese. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 175: 142-151.

Leite, R.M.V.B.C., Castro, C. & Brighenti, A.M. 2007. Indications for the sunflower crop on Rio Grande do Sul, Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Goias and Roraima States. Pesquisa Agropecuaria Brasileira 42: 1517-1752.

Martin, P.G. 1979. Manuals of Food Quality Control 3. Commodities. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome. pp. 313-320.

Matoh, T., Takasaki, M., Takabe, K. & Kobayashi, M. 1998. Immuno-cytochemistry of rhamnogalacturoan II in cell walls of higher plants. Plant and Cell Physiology 39: 483-491.

Mazher, A.A.M., Zaghloul, S.M. & Yassen, A.A. 2006. Impact of boron fertilizer on growth and chemical constituents of Taxodium distichum grown under water regime. World Journal of Agricultural Sciences 2: 412-420.

McMaster, G.S., Wilhelm, W.W., Palic, D.B., Porter, J.R. & Jamieson, P.D. 2003. Spring wheat leaf appearance and temperature: Extending the paradigm. Annals of Botany 91: 697-705.

Mottonen, M., Lehto, T., Rita, H. & Aphalo, P.J. 2005. Recovery of Norway spruce (Picea abies) seedlings from repeated drought as affected by boron nutrition. Trees 19: 213-223.

Mukhtar, I. 2009. Sunflower disease and insect pests in Pakistan: A Review. African Crop Science Journal 17: 109-118.

Orange, M.J. & Ebadi, A. 2012. Responses of phenological and physiological stages of spring safflower to complementary irrigation. African Journal of Biotechnology 11: 2465-2471.

Pinho, L.G.R., Campostrini, E., Monnerat, P.H., Netto, A.T., Pires, A.A., Marciano, C.R. & Soares, Y.J.B. 2010. Boron deficiency affects gas exchange and photochemical efficiency (JPI test parameters) in green dwarf coconut. Journal of Plant Nutrition 33: 439-451.

Rashid, A., Yasin, M., Ashraf, M. & Mann, R.A. 2004. Boron deficiency in calcareous soil reduces rice yield and impairs grain quality. International Rice Research Notes 29: 58-60.

Ruiz, J.M., Rivero, R.M. & Romero, L. 2006. Boron increases synthesis of glutathione in sunflower plants subjected to aluminum stress. Plant and Soil 279: 25-30.

Sajedi, M.A., Arakani, M.R. & Boojar, M.A. 2009. Response of maize to nutrients foliar application under water deficit stress conditions. American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences 4: 242-248.

Silva, C.A.T.D., Cagol, A., Silva, T.R.B.D. & Nobrega, L.H.P. 2011. Boron application before sowing of sunflower hybrids. Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment 9: 580-583.

Upadhyaya, H., Dutta, B.K., Sahoo, L. & Panda, S.K. 2012. Comparative effect of Ca, K, Mn and B on post-drought stress recovery in tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O Kuntze). American Journal of Plant Sciences 3: 443-460.

Waraich, E.A., Ahmad, R., Saifullah, Ashraf, M.Y. & Ehsanullah. 2011. Role of mineral nutrition in alleviation of drought stress in plants. Australian Journal of Crop Science 5: 764-777.

Wei, X.R., Hao, M.D., Zhang, C.X. & Wang, X.G. 2005. Effects of zinc and manganese fertilizers on maize photosynthetic performance under soil drought condition (in Chinese). Acta Agronomica Sinica 31: 1101-1104.

Yan, H., Li, W.X., Guo, Y.F. & Liu, D.S. 2003. Effect of boron on carbohydrate assimilation and translocation in wheat. Acta Pedologica Sinica 40: 440-445.



*Corresponding author; email: