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Plant hormones and their commercial uses

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Plant hormones and their commercial uses Plant hormones, and their derivatives are extremely widely used in agriculture, biology and a number of related fields, this essay is a discussion of most common uses of these hormones and their synthetic analogues in a commercial environment. Perhaps the most widely used group of plant hormones are the auxins. Auxins are plant hormones; the most important of which is known as indole-3-acetic acid or (IAA). It plays important roles in a whole range of plant processes including, root development, fruit development, and plant trophism (plant growth responses to external stimulus). Because of the very wide range of effects that it can initiate, auxins are probably used commercially more than any other plant hormone. Their most common use is in the creation of seedless varieties of fruit. Normally, pollination of the flowers of angiosperms begins the formation of seeds. As the seeds mature, they release auxin to the surrounding flower parts, which develop into the fruit. There are now many varieties seedless fruit available to the consumer. ...read more.


and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxy acetic acid (2,4,5-T). A mixture of these was the "Agent Orange" used by the U.S. military to defoliate the forest in parts of Vietnam during the conflict. These hormone based weed killers are very popular due to the fact that they are very selective; killing broad-leaved plants but not grasses (scientists are still not completely certain as to the reasons for this selectivity). The synthetic auxin acts by being taken into the cell by the same active transport mechanism as normal auxins, but unlike the normal auxins it cannot leave the cell, and it is believed that the resulting accumulation of 2,4-D within the cell kills it. Perhaps the most unusual of the plant hormones used commercially is Ethylene Ethylene differs from other plant hormones in being a gas formula (H2C=CH2). Most fruits release ethylene as they begin to mature, however proximity to the gas will cause other fruit to mature as well the presence of ethylene is detected by transmembrane receptors in the surface of the plasma membrane of the cells. ...read more.


However these dwarf plants tend to be much tougher and resistant to bad weather and plant parasites. The final major commercially used plant hormone is Abscisic acid; this compound and its analogues (structurally similar compounds to the natural ABA plant hormone) interact in various physiological plant processes including stress avoidance mechanisms that reduce transpirational water loss under drought conditions. Drought shock and cold stress are common causes of loss during establishment of horticultural crops such as vegetables, ornamentals and flowering annuals. Application of synthetic analogues of Abscisic acid to young seedlings or transplants can increase their tolerance to drought stress and cold. Unfortunately, the beneficial effects of ABA applied in this way are short lived as the chemical is rapidly metabolised. However, the synthetic analogues are more physiologically active and longer-lasting compounds than naturally occurring hormone. These compounds have extensive uses in horticulture, agriculture and forestry and there is many commercial applications for this product that include, Reduction of seedling transplantation shock in fruit trees, vegetables, ornamentals and flowering annuals (it is often applied to cuttings along with an auxin derivative to reduce plant stress). Perhaps the most common use is to treat 'seed' potatoes and malt barley to delay sprouting during storage. ...read more.

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