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Triacontanol

 

Triacontanol (TRIA) has been realized as a potent plant growth promoting substance for a number of agricultural and horticultural crops.1

 

Triacontanol can be applied to the plant during any stage of growth, from seed or cutting to harvest day. Triacontanol is non-toxic to plants, animals, and humans at all levels within reason and is safe to use on consumable crops. Triacontanol can be co-applied with auxins, gibberellins, cytokinins,brassinosteroids and other phytohormones.

 

The Science

 

1-Triacontanol is a fatty alcohol of the general formula C30H62O, also known as melissyl alcohol or myricyl alcohol. It is found in plant cuticle waxes and in beeswax. Triacontanol is a plant growth regulator in the subclass of “growth stimulant” shown to increase yields in many plants, most notably C3 plants. 2

 

C3 plants include wheat, rice, daisies, petunias, roses, fruit trees, conifers and cannabis. ALL C3 plants can benefit from TRIA applications, regardless of growing style or environmental conditions, although different types of C3 plants will have different optimum dosage rates of TRIA. Many investigators have shown that TRIA affects several basic metabolic processes including photosynthesis, nutrient uptake, and enzyme activity. 3

 

Triacontanol has shown the ability to (somewhat) alleviate negative effects of stress induced by salinity toxicity, cold temperatures, and CO2 and light deprivation.

 

Applications of Triacontanol have been shown to increase both water and nutrient uptake, CO2 fixation, endogenous levels of Adenosine triphosphate (essential units of energy for all life), Rubisco Activase (often the limiting factor in C3 photosynthesis), chlorophyll a & b content and increased essential oil content of plants (not relative to trichome density).

 

Triacontanol applied to tomato plants as a foliar spray caused a significant increase in total yield and yield per plant. When triacontantol was added to the growth medium, only a temporary increase in yield and number of fruits was observed.

 

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TRIA applied as a foliar spray to tomato plants increased the total yield by 12% and the number of fruits from all plants by 25% as compared to the control group. However, TRIA added to the growth medium increased total yield by only 6% and the number of fruits by 3%. 4

 

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In research conducted by D. Skogen, et al (1981) two cultivars of Chrysanthemum morifolium, ‘Golden Horim’ and ‘Golden Miquel’, were cultivated in nutrient solution containing the growth regulator triacontanol. The dry weight of the whole plant and the shoot from both cultivars increased. The number of ‘inflorescences’ (a group of flowers growing from a common stem, often in a characteristic arrangement. Also called flower cluster) per plant and the number of flowers per inflorescence also increased in response to triacontanol treatment, which in turn enhanced the quality of flowers. The number of flowers of superior quality was more than doubled.5

 

While research conducted by N. K. Srivastava et al (1989) on Opium Poppies treated with Triacontanol via foliar application demonstrated:

 

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Plant height, capsule number and weight, morphine content, CO2 exchange rate, total chlorophyll and fresh and dry weight of the shoot were significantly maximum at 0 .01 mg/1 Tria. At the highest concentration (4mg/1) total chlorophyll, CO2 exchange rate and plant height were significantly inhibited. Thebaine (a crystalline, poisonous, and anodyne alkaloid from opium) and codeine contents remained unaffected at all the concentrations. The concentration of Fe, Mn, Cu in shoots were maximum at .01 and Zn at 0 .1 mg/l Tria. Increase in shoot weight, leaf area ratio and chlorophyll content were significantly correlated with morphine content…

 

(Concluding)…

 

The present investigation reveals that Tria at concentrations upto 0 .1 mg/1 significantly enhances various processes related to production physiology in opium poppy . The primary processes in turn contribute significantly in increasing overall yield of straw, capsule and morphine content .” 6

 

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In trials conducted on essential oil bearing plants (mint) by M. Naeem et al (2011) findings showed:

 

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“Out of a large number of essential oil bearing plants, mint (Mentha arvensis L.) constitutes the most important source of therapeutic agents used in the alternative systems of medicine. The mint plant has marvelous medicinal properties. In view of enhancing growth, yield and quality of this medicinally important plant, a pot experiment was conducted according to simple randomized block design. The experiment was aimed at studying the effect of four concentrations of TRIA (10-0, 10-7, 10-6 and 10-5 M) on the performance of mint with regard to growth and other physiological attributes, crop yield and quality attributes and the yield and contents of active constituents of the plant. The growth and other physiological parameters as well as yield and quality attributes were studied at 100 and 120 DAP. The foliar application of TRIA at 10-6 M concentration significantly enhanced most of the growth and other physiological attributes, crop herbage yield and the yield and content of active constituents (menthol, L-methone, isomenthone and menthyl acetate) of mint at both the stages. However, the next higher concentration of TRIA (10-5 M) exhibited slightly negative effect and did not further increase the values of the attributes studied, but it proved significantly better than the control. Application of TRIA significantly enhanced the yield and content of all the active constituents… “ 7

 

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The only known negative side effect from TRIA other than over application is that it can suppress certain defence mechanisms that help ward off insect infestation. TRIA suppresses the production of certain proteinase inhibitors that are a main defensive mechanism against insect infestation. More often than not this effect is not noticeable, but we do not suggest applying TRIA to any plants that are having issues with an insect infestation.

 

Further to this, several factors can reduce the effectiveness of TRIA as a growth stimulator. Inhibitory compounds, which have been reviewed in detail, include long chain alcohols, morpholine (commonly found in distilled water from steam condensates), and phthalate esters, particularly from polyvinyl chloride tubing.8

 

When applying Triacontanol to the plant, it’s best to apply it to the foliage (as is shown in studies). Foliar applications of TRIA consistently have better improvements in growth and allow less use than applications of TRIA to the rhizosphere. There are several TRIA product patents claiming that adding cations with a valence of  >1 (most notably calcium) improves the growth enhancing capabilities of TRIA. At least one of the mentioned patents says applications of the same cations to the rhizosphere before application had the same effect. However, to date, there has been no legitimate scientific experimentation to prove or disprove the possible TRIA/Ca synergy.

 

The best time to apply any products to the foliage of your plant is the beginning of the night cycle for your plants to allow minimum evaporation of your foliar spray. If growing indoors be sure to turn all fans off for a minimum of 6 hours, preferably until all leaves are dry. If growing outdoors try to apply spray on a night where there will be little wind. The higher the humidity the longer the spray will stay on the leaves and the better the penetration through the leaf cuticles will be.

 

References

  1. M. Naeem, M. Masroor A. Khan, Moinuddin, Mohd. Idrees, Tariq Aftab (2011) Triacontanol-mediated regulation of growth and other physiological attributes, active constituents and yield of Mentha arvensis L.
  2. B. Eriksen, M. K. Haugstad and S. Nilsen (1982) Yield of tomato and maize in response to foliar and root applications of triacontanol
  3. Stanley Ries (1990) Triacontanol and Its Second Messenger9-b-L (+)-Adenosine as Plant Growth Substances
  4. A. B. Eriksen, M. K. Haugstad and S. Nilsen (1982) Yield of tomato and maize in response to foliar and root applications of triacontanol
  5. D. Skogen, A.B. Eriksen, S. Nilsen (1981) Effect of triacontanol on production and quality of flowers of Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat
  6. N .K. SRIVASTAVA** & SRIKANT SHARMA (1989) Effect of Triacontanol on photosynthesis, alkaloid content and growth in opium poppy (Papaver Somniferum L)
  7. Naeem, M.; Khan, M; Moinuddin; Idrees, Mohd; Aftab, Tariq (2011) Triacontanol-mediated regulation of growth and other physiological attributes, active constituents and yield of Mentha arvensis L.
  8. Ries SK (1985) Regulation of plant growth with triacontanol.
  9. Stanley Ries (1990) Triacontanol and Its Second Messenger 9-b-L (+)-Adenosine as Plant Growth Substances