Gerald G. Still
The rapidly moving field of bio-regulators promises that our farmers and ranchers will have new tools to better handle biological processes, and therefore agricultural productivity in concert with the markets, the environment and their management program. Modern chemistry and biology is producing bio-regulators that allow us to modulate the inherent genetics of our agricultural plants. It is my hope that these plant growth regulators will allow our agricultural managers to have their hand on the throttle and switches of agricultural plants so that they can make management decisions and then alter the plants' biological activities as routinely as our plant systems now respond to photo-period, accumulative day-degrees etc. There is tremendous potential for plant growth regulators to be applied in pomology and across agriculture. My presentation will address the biological regulation of various plant processes - some with new chemistry and materials presently available and others with materials that will become available in the future.

The following is a list of biological activities that are targets for biological regulators:-

  1. Promote rooting and propagation of the plant.
  2. Initiate or terminate the dormancy of seeds, buds, and tubers.
  3. Induce or retard ageing (senescence).
  4. Promote, delay, or prevent flowering.
  5. Induce or prevent leaf and/or fruit drop (abscission).
  6. Control fruit set and further fruit development.
  7. Control plant or organ size.
  8. Prune the plant chemically.
  9. Modify sex expression.
  10. Increase plant resistance to pests.
  11. Enhance plant resistance to environmental stress factors.
  12. Prevent postharvest spoilage.
  13. Regulate chemical composition of plants and color of fruit.
  14. Influence mineral uptake from the soil.
  15. Change the timing of crop development.

Each of the above applications of plant growth regulation can yield a profound economic advantage to the producer, packer and consumer. For example, the promotion delay and prevention of flowering is well

Still, Gerald G. (1981). BIOREGULATION: A PROSPECTIVE IN AGRICULTURE. Acta Hortic. 120, 23-24
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1981.120.1

Acta Horticulturae