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  • Author or Editor: Mark A. Berhow x
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Meadowfoam (Limnanthes alba Hartweg ex. Benth.) seedmeal, a coproduct of oil extraction from meadowfoam seeds, has been found to increase the growth of greenhouse plants when added to the growing medium. (3-Methoxyphenyl)acetonitrile (3-MPAN) is a biologically active glucosinolate degradation compound previously identified at high levels in meadowfoam seedmeal. 3-MPAN was tested as a foliar spray at several concentrations (0 μm, 0.18 mm, 0.37 mm, 0.73 mm, 2.2 mm, and 7.3 mm) on lime basil (Ocimum basilicum L.), spearmint (Mentha spicata L.), cuphea (Cuphea lanceolata L.), and French marigold (Tagetes patula L.) seedlings grown in the greenhouse. 3-MPAN increased the fresh and dry weights of all four species tested. However, this effect was dose-dependent among species with spearmint growth higher at all 3-MPAN application rates, whereas basil growth was promoted at only the 2.2-mm rate. 3-MPAN increased the tissue concentrations of the secondary compound (−)-carvone at the 7.3-mm application rate. In addition, 3-MPAN added to sterile nutrient media stimulated the growth of spearmint plants in vitro. These results indicate that 3-MPAN may have applicability as a postemergent growth stimulant for a wide variety of plants.

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