Boron (B) is essential for plant growth, but hazardous when present in excess. Hydrogen gas (H2) possesses antioxidant properties. Wang et al. investigate B-induced biological responses during rice (Oryza sativa) seed germination to study the beneficial role of H2.
In addition to the capacity of H2 to re-establish equilibrium where there is a reactive oxygen species (ROS) imbalance, H2 tolerance to B toxicity is shown to result in improved root elongation and water status, up-regulation of genes encoding specific aquaporins (AQPs) and reduced B accumulation. The increased transcription of representative AQPs genes and BOR2 along with the decreased BOR1 mRNA may further contribute to lowering B accumulation.