University of California

Response of several crop plants and weeds to maleic hydrazide


A. S. Crafts
H. B. Currier
B. E. Day

Authors Affiliations

A. S. Crafts was Professor of Botany and Botanist in the Experiment Station; H. B. Currier was Assistant Professor of Botany and Assistant Botanist in the Experiment Station; B. E. Day was Junior Plant Pathologist, Citrus Experiment Station, Riverside, California.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 20(4):57-80. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v20n04p057. July 1950.

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The results in brief …

Maleic hydrazide has been found to have selective herbicidal action on weedy grasses. Young plants are more susceptible to injury by it than are old plants. This relation of maturity to injury applies to crop plants as well as to weedy grasses.

Maleic hydrazide is particularly toxic to grass species. It affects plants when applied at low concentration; it causes growth abnormalities; it apparently acts on plant meristems at a distance from the point of application. For these reasons, it is concluded that maleic hydrazide has hormone properties.

Addition of a wetting agent increases the effects of maleic hydrazide, presumably by improving the contact with the plant tissues.

Many vegetable crops show growth inhibition from maleic hydrazide treatment; growth abnormalities occur on some. On tomato, the abnormalities resemble virus symptoms.

A common response to maleic hydrazide is anthocyanin pigmentation. This might result from carbohydrate accumulation in the leaves.

Literature Cited

Currier H. B., Crafts A. S. Maleic hydrazide, a selective herbicide. Science. 1950. 111:152-153. DOI: 10.1126/science.111.2876.152 [CrossRef]

Hoffmann O. L., Schoene D. L. Maleic hydrazide, a unique growth regulant. Mimeo. Naugatuck Chemical Division. 1949. U. S. Rubber Company.

Kunkel L. O. Viruses in relation to the growth of plants. Torreya. 1943. 43:87-95.

Schoene D. L., Hoffmann O. L. Maleic hydrazide, a unique growth regulant. Science. 1949. 109:588-590. DOI: 10.1126/science.109.2841.588-a [CrossRef]

Zimmerman P. W. The formative influences and comparative effectiveness of various plant hormone-like compounds. Torreya. 1943. 43:98-115.

Crafts A, Currier H, Day B. 1950. Response of several crop plants and weeds to maleic hydrazide. Hilgardia 20(4):57-80. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v20n04p057
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