D. Stankovic, N. Rajkovic
'Agrostemin' is a new type of natural growth regulator which is obtained from the seeds of Corn Cockle (Agrostemma Githago L.), a common weed of wheat in Yugoslavia. It was discovered by Dr Danica Gajic as a result of her investigations of the allelopathic behaviour of weeds in relation to cultural practices. Applied once at the rate of 100 g/ha., equivalent to only 1 g/ha. of active ingredient, it has induced many favourable effects on growth, development, vegetative propagation, yield, fruit quality (particularly anthocyanin content) and storage life.

'Agrostemin' is a non-toxic (Nom4), grey-white water-soluble powder of melting point 225°C which has unlimited stability in powder form. The main active ingredients are allantoin, trypthophan, folic acid, orcialanine, glutamic acid, allantoic acid and adenine.

In pome fruits 'Agrostemin' at the rate of 1 g/ha. a.i. has been applied at the mouse-ear stage, whereas in stone fruits it is applied at the same rate but immediately after blossoming. If necessary it can be incorporated in the routine pesticide sprays. The table shows some typical results of spraying 'Agrostemin' immediately before blossoming on to trees of apple and pear.

Species Length of shoots Yield t/ha. % extra
and (cm)   category fruits
cultivar Control    Treated Control    Treated Control    Treated

     Idared 68.3 72.9 41.8 71.7 63.9 72.9
     Bartlett 107.3 110.2 24.8 28.6 69.9 84.1

It appears that 'Agrostemin' is a highly promising natural bio-regulator belonging to a new category of so-called second generation growth substances, which includes also such substances as the brassins and the triacanthonoes. Being natural in origin and of allelopathic character it induces multiple positive effects on yield and fruit quality, without undersirable side effects, and appears to be an efficient tool for the control of fruit production. As an indicator of a new era in this field, allelopathy should therefore become a subject of systematic investigation on a multi- and inter-disciplinary basis.

Further information on 'Agrostemin' can be obtained from Bioproduct, 11000 Beograd, Rneza Milasa 55 (Telex Y4 Biop. Telegram Bioproduct P.O. Box 599.

Stankovic, D. and Rajkovic, N. (1981). AGROSTEMIN - A NEW PROMISING NATURAL BIOREGULATOR. Acta Hortic. 120, 263-263
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1981.120.56

Acta Horticulturae