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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