Morpho-physiological responses of sunflower to foliar applications of chlormequat chloride (CCC)
Keywords:sunflower, 100-achene weight, achene yield, foliar applications, growth regulator
Chlormequat chloride (CCC) is used to inhibit extension growth in cereals and promote branching and flowering in potted ornamental plants produced in greenhouses; however, experimental data on the use of CCC in field sunflower are limited. Field experiments were conducted to study the effect of foliar applications of CCC at rates of 3,000 gha-1 (single application) and 3,000 plus 3,000 g ha-1 (double application) on the morphology and productivity of sunflower plants. CCC provoked some foliar injury on sunflower plants within a week after application, but the effect was transient; the symptoms were reduced over time and the plants recovered completely. Single application of CCC did not provide significant height reduction of sunflower plants as opposed to double application, which reduced plant height at maturity by 12.7% (or by 43.4 cm). Both application schemes promoted flowering and induced the production of more achenes, but finally resulted in reduced achene yield per plant by 17.8% and 20.3%, respectively, compared with the non-treated control. The achene yield reduction resulted by the reduction in the 100-achene weight. The study provides new evidence that allow a better understanding of the mode of action of CCC in sunflower. Overall, the foliar applications of CCC at the rates tested in this study either did not provide any advantage in terms of height reduction of sunflower plants or the height reduction achieved was accompanied by significant reduction in achene yield. On the basis of all the above, CCC does not appear to be a suitable growth regulator for the control of plant height in sunflower.
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Copyright (c) 2016 Spyridon D. Koutroubas, Christos A. Damalas
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