Development of a Seedling-applied Antitranspirant Formulation to Enhance Water Status, Growth, and Yield of Transplanted Bell Pepper

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science

The objective of this research was to develop an effective antitranspirant formulation for reducing transplant shock (transitory water stress) in bell pepper (Capsicm annuum L.) seedlings. A formulation with a paraffin wax emulsion (Folicote at 5%) and a spreader/sticker type surfactant (Biofilm at 0.5%) was effective as an antitranspirant. This formulation was less phytotoxic than other formulations tested. Application of the formulation led to increased leaf water potential (Ψ w) i in transplanted seedlings for several days as compared with untreated transplants. When this, (relatively) nonphytotoxic formulation was used in a field study for 1 year, increased seedling Ψ w during a period of imposed water stress led to less leaf abscission and increased plant growth throughout the growing season. Chemical names used: alkylarylpolyethoxyethanol (Biofilm).

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