Mode of Action, Metabolism, and Uptake of BAS-125W, Prohexadione Calcium

in HortScience

Prohexadione calcium, or BAS-125W, is a plant growth regulator being developed for registration in the United States by the BASF Corporation and Kumiai Chemical Industry Co. Ltd. Prohexadione calcium inhibits the biosynthesis of gibberellin by blocking dioxygenases, which require 2-oxogluterate as a co-substrate. The result is a decrease in cell elongation and reduced vegetative growth. Gibberellin levels are reduced in the plant for 3 to 4 weeks following application of this growth regulator. Prohexadione calcium does not persist in the plant or directly effect vegetative growth the following season. Prohexadione calcium is absorbed by the plant foliage and uptake is generally complete within 8 hr following application. Results indicate that translocation within the plant is predominantly by acropetal movement, while basipetal movement is limited. Preliminary research has shown prohexadione calcium to have a short half-life in the environment; to have no negative effects on non-target organisms; and to offer little risk to users or consumers. Rates of 125 ppm a.i. to 250 ppm a.i. have typically provided effective vegetative control of vigorous apple trees. Generally, as the vegetative vigor of a tree increases; the rate of prohexadione calcium needed for effective vegetative control has to be raised. Vegetative vigor is influence by numerous factors including: fruit load, location, variety, rootstock, age, pruning, and training system. Earlier applications at 2 to 5 inches of new shoot growth have provided more-effective control of vegetative growth than later applications. Due to its short-term effect and lack of persistence, prohexadione calcium can be a flexible tool in developing user specific growth management strategies.

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