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Mineral analysis and proximate composition of leaves of (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) in response to boron application in pot experiments
Choumollier (narrow-stem kale) (Brassica oleracea, L.) has been progressively used in recent years as a supplementary forage harvest in many countries with a temperate climate. Boron (B) and calcium (Ca) are the two most important elements for supporting plant structure and function of plasma membranes. Boron nutrition is vital for obtaining high quality yields in vegetables. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the extent to which boric acid concentration can affect growth parameters (plant height, leaf numbers, chlorophyll levels, and leaf size) of Brassica olereacea var. acephala at different stages of growth and development. Treatment comprised of four concentrations of boron (0.3 mg/kg, 0.4 mg/kg, 0.5 mg/kg and 0.6 mg/kg). Yield and physiological growth responses were measured during the course of the study to ascertain effectiveness and influence of boron treatments on the test crops. Leaves of B. oleracea were harvested at weekly intervals (W1, W2, W3, W4 and W5) after each treatment regimen for approximate basic mineral analysis and composition. Soil pH did not vary much among the various orchard blocks tested, regardless of soil depth. Exchangeable cations Na+ and K+ levels did not vary significantly, but Ca2+ and Mg2+ levels fluctuated considerably among orchards analyzed. The Control Orchard exhibited a higher P content than the other orchards. Ca, Mg, Cu and B levels did not vary significantly among the orchards, but Na, Fe and Zn levels were markedly raised in the Orchard treated with 0.3 mg/kg boron) relative to the Control Orchard. Chlorophyll fluorescence was significantly dependent on the treatment dose of boron as compared to control. Chlorophyll fluorescence also increased significantly with the growth period, i.e., the duration following the initial treatment at all doses of boron. Boron at all did not significantly affect leaf count, leaf length and plant height. The work may add to the body of knowledge on the influence of boron on the physiological performance, mineral contents and proximate composition of leaves of the species. Furthermore, the findings may have important applications in achieving high quality yields in vegetable crops.