Methanol Effects on Cotton Growth and Photosynthesis

T. J. Gerik and K. L. Faver


Nonomura and Benson (1992) reported that foliar applied methanol improves the productivity of C(3) plants like cotton. Two greenhouse and one field experiments were conducted at the Blackland Research Center, Temple, TX to verify Nonomura's observations. Aqueous solutions of 0, 10, 20, and 30% methanol with 0.1% Triton X100 surfactant were sprayed on leaves of Gossypium hirsutum L. "GP74+". Greenhouse plants were sprayed one time at first square appearance until leaves were fully wet and could not hold further solution. Field plants were sprayed at 2 week intervals beginning at first square appearance with a mechanical sprayer with spray volumes 20 gallons/acre. Gas exchange (CO2 and H2O of fully expanded leaves were measured about 1, 7, and 14 days after treatment. Data revealed that methanol increased stomatal conductance to CO2 , transpiration, and CO2 assimilation by 10%. However, biomass, fruit number, fruit weight, specific leaf weight (g/cm2 leaf area), and yield were generally not affected by the application of methanol. Only data from the second greenhouse experiment revealed statistically significant increases of 10% in biomass accumulation, leaf area, and fruit weight compared to the controls (0% methanol). Our data suggest that methanol has limited benefits on cotton productivity.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1994 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pg. 1328
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998