We have witnessed an increasing interest in national and international food production over the past several years. The need for increased food production is covered in several documents such as Agricultural Production Efficiency (1), World Food and Nutrition Study (3). The World Food Problem (2), Food for Billions (5). Photosynthesis, Photorespiration and Plant Production (25), CO2 Metabolism and Plant Production (7) and an entire issue of Science (18).
The effects of growth retardants succinic acid 2,2-dimethylhydrazide (SADH), (2-chloroethyl) trimethylammonium chloride (CCC) and 2,4-dichlorobenzy 1-tributylphosphonim chloride (CBBP) on growth and flowering of Brassica oleracea var. italica, cv. ‘Waltham 29’ (broccoli) were investigated. All 3 compounds reduced plant height. At higher concn SADH reduced the no. of plants flowering in both cold and non-cold treated plants. Neither floral induction nor leaf no. was significantly affected by CBBP or CCC. Leaf no. increased with increasing conc of SADH, as a probable result of the increased inhibition of floral initiation.
Research related to plant growth and development over the past 75 years has brought us to a point where the vegetable plants we grow today have been developed to fit the needs of the home gardener, the greenhouse grower, the large scale fresh market grower and the vegetable processing industry. Through this research, changes have come about that contribute to a better understanding of the basic genetic and physiological mechanisms that control plant habit, sex expression, flowering, and fruit type. These four broad areas will be covered to demonstrate the diversity and scope of knowledge concerning growth and development that has accumulated in the 20th century. This knowledge opens doors for further work on the major crops and for beginning work on crops that hold promise for the future. The flexibility and complexity of plants and plant processes allow us to look at plants the way we find them, envision them the way they can be changed to best serve us and plan our procedures for developing them for the future.