Boron (B) is essential in plants but often present at low concentrations in the environment. To investigate how plants survive under conditions of B limitation, we conducted a transcriptome analysis and identified NIP5;1 , a member of the major intrinsic protein family, as a gene upregulated in B-deficient roots of Arabidopsis thaliana . Promoter–β-glucuronidase fusions indicated that NIP5;1 is strongly upregulated in the root elongation zone and the root hair zone under B limitation, and green fluorescent protein–tagged NIP5;1 proteins localized to the plasma membrane. Expression in Xenopus laevis oocytes demonstrated that NIP5;1 facilitated the transport of boric acid in addition to water. Importantly, two T-DNA insertion lines of NIP5;1 displayed lower boric acid uptake into roots, lower biomass production, and increased sensitivity of root and shoot development to B deficiency. These results identify NIP5;1 as a major plasma membrane boric acid channel crucial for the B uptake required for plant growth and development under B limitation.
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