Drought, Paclobutrazol, Abscisic Acid, and Gibberellic Acid as Alternatives to Daminozide in Tomato Transplant Production

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science

`Floradade' tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) transplants treated with foliar sprays of paclobutrazol at 0, 14, 30, 60, or 90 ppm exhibited reductions in stem length, leaf area, and plant dry weight in a cubic response pattern. Gibberellic acid (GA) drenches, at 10, 100, or 250 ppm, increased stem length, leaf area, and plant dry weight. Daminozide (2500 or 5000 ppm) sprays reduced leaf area and dry weight, but 5000 ppm had no effect on stem length. Abscisic acid drenches, at 275, 660, or 1320 ppm, did not affect final plant size. In subsequent experiments to produce transplants for field evaluation, plants treated with paclobutrazol sprays at 90 (1987) and 14 or 60 ppm (1988) had smaller leaf area, stem length, and shoot dry weight than untreated plants. In 1987,90 ppm paclobutrazol reduced stem shear strength, while 2500 ppm daminozide increased stem strength relative to controls. In 1988, 2500 ppm daminozide increased transplant growth while 660 ppm abscisic acid had no effect. Paclobutrazol (14 ppm) and drought improved field establishment of transplants as measured by shoot dry weight gain after field planting. In 1988, total fruit yield was reduced by 60 ppm paclobutrazol and GA. Although fruit size was unaffected by treatments, fruit number was reduced by GA. Chemical names used: butanedioic acid mono (2,2-dimethylhydrazide) (daminozide); B-[(4-chlorophenyl)methyl]-α -(1,1-dimethylethyl) -N-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol).

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