Commercial Use of Plant Hormones

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What Is Commercial Use?

Plant hormones can be extracted, or artificial copies can be made. They can then be used to do all kinds of useful things such as killing weeds, growing cuttings and ripening fruit...

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Selective Weedkillers

1) Most weeds growing in fields of crops or in a lawn are broad- leaved. In contrast to grasses and cereals which have narrow leaves.

2) Selective weedkillers have been developed from plant growth hormones which only affect the broad- leaved plants.

3) They totally disrupt the normal growth patterns, which soon kills them, whilst leaving the grass and crops untouched.

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Growing from Cuttings with Rooting Powder....

1) A cutting is a part of a plant that has been cut off it, like the end of a branch with a few leaves on it.

2) Normally, if you stick cuttings into soil they will not grow, but if you add rooting powder, which contains plant growth hormones, they will produce roots rapidly and start growing as new plants...

3) This enable growers to produce lots of clones (exact copies) of a good plant very quickly.

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Controlling the Ripening of Fruit

1) Plant hormones can be used to delay the ripening of fruits- either while they are still on the plant or during transportation to the shops.

2) This allows the furit to be picked while it's still unripe (and therfore firmer and less easily damaged).

3) Ripening hormone is then added andthe fruit will ripen on the way to the supermarket and be perfect just as it reaches the shelves.

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Controlling Dormancy

1) Lots of seeds won't germinate (start growing) until they have been through certain conditions (e.g. a period of cold or dryness). This is called dormancy.

2) A hormone called gibberellin breaks this dormancy and allows the seeds to germinate.

3) Commercial growers can treat seeds with gibberelin to make them germinate at times of the year when they wouldn't normally. It also helps to make sure all the seeds in a batch germinate at the same time.

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