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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Response of Plants to Naphthenic and Cycloalkanecarboxylic Acids1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 62 No. 5, p. 644-646
    Received: Mar 2, 1970

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  1. D. J. Wort and
  2. K. M. Patel2



The application of a 5 × 10-2 M solution of potassimunaphthenates (KNap) to the foliage of 14-day-old plants of maize, spring wheat, sugar beet, bush bean, and radish resulted in 8 to 21% greater growth of the foliage determined 21 to 50 days after spraying. Fresh weight of the radish taproot was greater by 13.5%. Treatment increased the weight of green pods per bush bean plant, harvested 35 days after KNap application, by 23%. Soaking spring wheat seeds in a 0.01 or 0.001% KNap solution for 12 hours immediately prior to planting, resulted in increases of 9 and 12% in weight of kernels per plant. The foliar application of 1 × 10-2 M and 2 × l0-2 M solutions of the potassium salt. of cyclopentane-, cyclohexene-, or cycloheptanecarboxylic acid was followed by an increase in weight of pods per bush bean plant, but the increases lacked statistical significance (0.05 level). The use of potassium cyclohexanecarboxylate invoked significant increases of 24 and 35% in pod yield. Results suggested that the presence of a 6-carbon saturated ring in the molecule of the lower molecular weight eycloalkanecarboxylic acids is required for effective stimulation of plant growth. This may also be true of the naphthenic acid mixture extracted from petroleum.

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