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Martin J. Bukovac

The importance of spray application and the role of spray additives are reviewed in reference to increasing the effectiveness of plant growth regulators (PGR). The spray application process is composed of a number of interrelated components, from formulation of the active ingredient into a sprayable, bioactive solution (emulsion/suspension), to atomization, delivery, retention, and penetration into the plant tissue. Each of these events is critical to performance of the PGR. Also, each can be affected by spray additives, particularly adjuvants, which may be incorporated in the formulation of the active ingredient or added to the spray mixture. The role of the individual components and effects of spray adjuvants, particularly surfactants and fertilizer adjuvants, on the component processes are discussed.

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Moritz Knoche and Martin J. Bukovac

Gibberellin A3 (GA) applied to virus-infected sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L., `Montmorency') trees inhibits flower initiation and promotes spur formation. However, response to a given dose may vary. Differential foliar absorption has been suggested as a major source of this variation. Therefore, we studied if surfactants would reduce variation in GA absorption. Uptake through the abaxial surface exceeded that through the adaxial surface by about one order of magnitude (adaxial surface 1.1 vs 7.8% in 1988, 0.7 vs 16.6% in 1989). GA uptake was markedly affected by surfactants. Over a 24-hr uptake period, Activator 90 and Ortho X-77 were most effective (abaxial surface 38.3 and 37.4% in 1989), whereas Regulaid did not affect GA uptake. L-77 significantly depressed absorption (abaxial surface 9.1% in 1989). In addition to the level of uptake, surfactants also changed GA absorption kinetics. Penetration increased linearly over a 96-hr time period when Regulaid was included. However, with Ortho X-77, uptake was rapid initially but levelled off within 96 hr. These findings will be discussed in relation to biological response data obtained in the field experiments.

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Antonio Heredia and Martin J. Bukovac

Micelles of two nonionic surfactants (Triton X-114 and Neodol 91) were shown by gel filtration chromatography to solubilize nondissociated NAA molecules in aqueous solutions. Micelle solubilization of nonpolar active ingredients in aqueous spray systems alters the distribution of the chemical in the spray solution and may influence chemical deposit formation and penetration characteristics. Chemical names used: 2-(1-naphthyl)acetic acid (NAA), octylphenoxy polyethoxylate-7.5 POE (Triton X-114), linear alcohol (C9-11) polyethoxylate-6 POE (Neodol 91).

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Moritz Knoche and Martin J. Bukovac

The effects of selected surfactants and surfactant blends, frequently used in spray application, on deposit formation and foliar absorption of GA3 by sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L. cv. Montmorency) have been investigated. Globular deposits were observed on droplet drying from solutions without surfactants or when the surfactants Activator 90, Tween 20, or Silwet L-77 were present, while annular-shaped deposits were observed with Regulaid, Ortho X-77, and Triton AG-98. Absorption of GA3 without surfactant was 5- and 17-fold higher by the abaxial (8.5% and 20.2% of applied in 1988 and 1989) than adaxial surface (1.6% and 1.2% of applied in 1988 and 1989). Over 24 hours, Ortho X-77 and Activator 90 (45.7% vs. 33.7% in 1988, 42.5% vs. 41.7% in 1989) were most effective in enhancing GA3 penetration through the abaxial surface, followed by Triton AG-98 (38.6% in 1988), Tween 20 (28.6% in 1989), and Regulaid (23.6% in 1988, 16.8% in 1989). Silwet L-77 significantly reduced GA3 uptake (10.7% in 1989) compared with the nonsurfactant control (18.2% in 1989). GA3 uptake increased at a decreasing rate during a 96-hour absorption period when GA3 was applied alone or with Ortho X-77. However, uptake increased linearly with time in the presence of Regulaid, yielding significantly higher GA3 penetration 96 hours after application (44.8%) compared with GA, alone (11.3%) or GA3 with Ortho X-77 (27.7%). GA3 penetration was independent of Tween 20 concentration in the range from 0.0313% to 0.25% but increased with increasing Ortho X-77 concentration (0.0313$%0 to 0.25%) over a 24-hour absorption period. Chemical names used: alkylpolyoxyethylene ether, free fatty acids, isopropanol (Activator 90); alkylarylpolyoxyethyleneglycols, free fatty acids and isopropanol (Ortho X-77); polyoxyethylenepolypropoxypropanol, alkyl 2-ethoxy-ethanol (Regulaid); polyalkyleneoxide modified polydimethylsiloxane copolymers (Silwet L-77); alkylarylpolyethylene glycol (Triton AG-98); polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monolaurate (Tween 20); gibberellic acid (GA3).

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Martin Harz, Moritz Knoche, and Martin J. Bukovac

Water conductance of the cuticle of mature fruit of apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf., `Golden Delicious' Reinders/`Malling 9' (M.9)], sweet cherry (Prunus avium L., `Sam'/`Alkavo'), grape (Vitis vinifera L.), pepper (Capsicum annuum L. var. annuum Fasciculatum Group, `Jive'), and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) was de ter mined using excised epidermal segments (consisting of epidermis, hypodermis, and some cell layers of parenchyma) and enzymatically isolated cuticular membranes (CM) from the same sample of fruit. Segments or CM were mounted in diffusion cells and transpiration was monitored gravimetrically. Conductance (m·s-1) was calculated by dividing the flux of water per unit segment or CM area (kg·m-2·s-1) by the difference in water vapor concentration (kg·m-3) across segments or CM. Transpiration through segments and through CM increased with time. Conductance of segments was consistently lower than that of newly isolated CM (3 days or less). Conductance decreased with increasing time after isolation for apple, grape, or sweet cherry CM, and for sweet cherry CM with increasing temperature during storage (5 to 33 °C for 4 days). There was no significant effect of duration of storage of CM on conductance in pepper or tomato fruit. Following storage of CM for more than 30 days, differences in conductance between isolated CM and excised segments decreased in apple, grape, and sweet cherry, but not in pepper or tomato. Use of metabolic inhibitors (1 mm NaN3 or 0.1 mm CCCP), or pretreatment of segments by freezing (-19 °C for 18 hours), or vacuum infiltration with water, had no effect on conductance of apple fruit segments. Our results suggest that living cells present on excised segments do not affect conductance and that epidermal segments provide a useful model system for quantifying conductance without the need for isolating the CM. Chemical names used: sodium azide (NaN3); carbonylcyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP).

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Thomas J. Zabadal and Martin J. Bukovac

The effects of CPPU [forchlorfenuron, N-(2-chloro-4-pyridinyl)-N-phenylurea] on berry development of Vitis labrusca and V. labrusca × V. vinifera cultivars was evaluated under field conditions. A concentration response was initially established by spraying clusters of `Himrod' at a mean berry diameter of about 5 mm with 0, 5, 10, or 15 mg·L–1 CPPU. Berry enlargement was monitored (16, 30, 44, and 59 days after treatment) during development. Cluster mass, number of berries per cluster, berry mass and firmness, and °Brix were determined at harvest. Berry mass was dramatically increased (2.3 versus about 3.6 g/berry) at harvest by all concentrations of CPPU. Cluster mass and compactness were also increased and berry firmness was linearly related to CPPU concentration (r 2 = 0.997). There was no significant effect on number of berries per cluster (79 to 86). °Brix, rachis necrosis at harvest, and berry abscission after 30 days of refrigerated storage (1 °C) were significantly reduced. Effect of time of CPPU application (0, 5, and 10 mg·L–1) was established by treatment of clusters at mean berry diameters of about 4, 5, 7, and 9 mm. Response was indexed by following berry enlargement at 14, 28, 42, and 56 (maturity) days after treatment. Maximum berry size for both 5 and 10 mg·L–1 was obtained from applications at 4 to 7 mm berry diameter. Relative response of seedless and seeded cultivars was compared by application of CPPU at 0, 5, 10, or 15 mg·L–1 to clusters (4 to 6 mm berry diameter) of seedless `Vanessa' and `Lakemont' and seeded `Concord' and `Niagara'. Bioresponse was determined by a time course of berry enlargement and berry and cluster mass, number of berries per cluster, and rating cluster compactness at maturity. Except for `Lakemont' at the 5 mg·L–1 concentration, CPPU at all concentrations increased seedless berry diameter significantly from the first measurement at 14 through 56 days after application. Berry and cluster mass and cluster compactness were significantly increased in `Vanessa'. In contrast, the only effect of CPPU on the two seeded cultivars was an increase in berry size in `Concord' and an initial increase in berry size 14 days after application in `Niagara'.

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Royal G. Fader and Martin J. Bukovac

The plant cuticle is the prime barrier to penetration of foliar-applied plant growth regulators (PGR). Spray additives of various chemistries are frequently included in a tank mix to increase performance of PGRs. We have reported that urea and ammonium nitrate (AN) enhance transcuticular penetration of 14C-labeled NAA (pKa 4.2) from aqueous droplets (pH 5.2) and their subsequent deposits through enzymatically isolated tomato fruit cuticular membranes (CM). Studies on effects of Triton × surfactants on AN-enhanced NAA penetration showed an additional 25% increase in NAA penetration and the AN:surfactant interaction was significant. Also, some alkylamine hydrochlorides increased NAA penetration. Studies comparing NAA penetration through tomato and pepper fruit and Citrus leaf CM in the presence of 8 mM AN or 8 mM ethylamine HCl showed that all three species exhibited the same trend for penetration at 120 h: ethylamine HCl > AN > NAA only. Comparative NAA penetration for CM of the three species was pepper > Citrus > tomato, with significant differences (P > 0.006) in NAA penetration, as indexed by initial slope and penetration after 120 h. On addition of AN, NAA penetration was greater (range 3% to 40%) for Citrus and pepper CM than tomato CM. When ethylamine HCl was added, NAA penetration through Citrus and pepper CM was less (–37 and –27%, respectively) than tomato CM as measured by the initial slope, but 6% and 11%, respectively, more than tomato CM for penetration after 120 h. The differences in NAA penetration among the three species cannot be explained by cuticle thickness, since pepper and tomato CM are 2.5- to 3.5-fold thicker than Citrus CM. We have suggested that the enhanced NAA penetration mediated by AN and ethylamine HCl (and other alkylamine HCl examined) may be related to their hygroscopic properties leading to greater deposit hydration. The significance of the differences among the species CM and surfactant-enhanced NAA penetration will be discussed, in relation to diffusion in the non-living, non-metabolic plant cuticle.

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Martin J. Bukovac, Jerry Hull, and Paolo Sabbatini

For studies on blossom/fruit thinning in apple, tree selection is often based on uniformity of bloom/crop load, assuming that such trees exhibit greater uniformity to treatment. However, the literature is replete with data showing marked variation for a given treatment. We followed variation in bloom/crop density of spur-type `Delicious'/MM.106 and effect of ethephon applied in high crop years on return bloom/yield. Uniform trees (n = 95), under identical cultural practices, were selected for varying crop load. Return bloom, yield and fruit size were monitored over six years. General mean (X) for yield was 94 ± 25 kg/tree and bloom density, rated 1 to 10 (highest), was 5.4 ± 1.7. Annual yield deviated from X by +56 to –40% and bloom density by +49 to –42%. All trees were ranked (decreasing yield) and assigned to five percentile (PCTL) groups (1st, 81-100; 2nd, 61-80; 3rd, 41-60; 4th, 21-40; 5th, 0-20 kg/tree). Trees in each group were reassigned annually to the five PCPL groups for the next five years. Of trees in 1st PCTL (n = 19, X = 187 ± 10 kg/tree) in year one, 5, 5, 24, 0 and 63% placed in PCPL 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively, in year two. Of trees in 1st PCTL (5%) in year two, all placed in PCTL 2 in year three. Effect of ethephon [200 mg·L-1 at 3, 3 + 6, 3 + 6 + 9 weeks after full bloom (WAFB)] applied in on years to `Redchief', with strong alternate bearing, were evaluated for six years. Ethephon at 3 WAFB had no effect. Yield from multiple applications differed from control (NTC) in off years, but not from each other. Total yield (3 on + 3 off years) for the NTC and ethephon at 3 + 6 WAFB was similar (479 vs. 471 kg/tree). However, 64% of the total yield was produced in the on years and 36% in the off years in NTC vs. 56 and 44% in 3 + 6 WAFB, respectively.

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Peter D. Petracek, Moritz Knoche, and Martin J. Bukovac

Despite the widespread use of surfactants to enhance the performance of foliar applied chemicals, the mechanisms for this enhancement are poorly understood. The penetration of surfactant per se through the cuticular membrane (CM) may play a pivotal role. Thus, we examined CM penetration by octylphenoxy surfactants (Triton X series) using a finite dose (Franz) diffusion cell. The effect of hydrophile length was studied using 14C surfactant (15.9 mm in 20 mm citrate buffer: pH 3.2) with 3, 9.5, 12, 16, and 40 ethylene oxide units per molecule (EO). One 5-μl droplet of surfactant solution was applied to the outer morphological surface of CM enzymatically isolated from mature tomato fruit. The inner CM surface remained in contact with stirred buffer at 25°C. The buffer was sampled periodically through a side portal over 648 h. Penetration curves (time vs. % penetrated) for all surfactants were characterized by three phases: lag, linear, and asymptotic. Lag: There was no effect of EO on the length of the lag phase (average 5 h) Linear: Steady state penetration (0.6 to 1.1% / h) was inversely related to log EO content. Asymptotic: About 70% of applied short EO (3 to 16) surfactants penetrated while 25% of the 40 EO penetrated in 648 h.

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Peter D. Petracek, Moritz Knoche, and Martin J. Bukovac

Despite the widespread use of surfactants to enhance the performance of foliar applied chemicals, the mechanisms for this enhancement are poorly understood. The penetration of surfactant per se through the cuticular membrane (CM) may play a pivotal role. Thus, we examined CM penetration by octylphenoxy surfactants (Triton X series) using a finite dose (Franz) diffusion cell. The effect of hydrophile length was studied using 14C surfactant (15.9 mm in 20 mm citrate buffer: pH 3.2) with 3, 9.5, 12, 16, and 40 ethylene oxide units per molecule (EO). One 5-μl droplet of surfactant solution was applied to the outer morphological surface of CM enzymatically isolated from mature tomato fruit. The inner CM surface remained in contact with stirred buffer at 25°C. The buffer was sampled periodically through a side portal over 648 h. Penetration curves (time vs. % penetrated) for all surfactants were characterized by three phases: lag, linear, and asymptotic. Lag: There was no effect of EO on the length of the lag phase (average 5 h) Linear: Steady state penetration (0.6 to 1.1% / h) was inversely related to log EO content. Asymptotic: About 70% of applied short EO (3 to 16) surfactants penetrated while 25% of the 40 EO penetrated in 648 h.