Methanol and improved yields
ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk
Sat Oct 31 17:59:39 EST 1992
In article <921031031241.MIN-LNRAa00274.bionet-news at uk.ac.daresbury> you wrote:
: >Along more practical lines, it seems that the increased turgor is caused
: >by the higher photosynthesis making more sugar in the "noonday sun", so
: >that there is more osmotic pressure and thus turgor. Sounds OK, but
: >there are not direct data.
I'm surprised to hear that spraying methanol (a solvent that disrupts
lipid membranes) causes an increase in turgor! What effect does
spraying *water* have on turgor?
The accumulation of large pools of sucrose is unusual except in
monocots. Insolulable starch is the principal storage product of
photosynthesis in many species, and active ion-transport is responsible
for regulation of turgor. Such transport depends critically on the
integrity of the lipid membranes in the tonoplast and plasmalemma.
: >Getting even more practical...
: >If you are growing tomatoes or watermelons in the Arizona summer you have
: >to water. From a resource use standpoint, you can apparently cut down on
: >water use by spraying methanol which is a benefit. It also seems that it
: >is beneficial from an energy standpoint in that the energy value of the
: >methanol that is sprayed on the plants is likely to be less than the
: >energy required to pump the extra water.
: >Now about those explosions: for most of the tender-leaved vegetables,
: >10-15% methanol in water was about right. That is not going to burn. As
: >with _any_ spray material, it is appropriate to wear a mask to keep it
: >out of your lungs (this even applies with water), and to spray when there
: >is no wind.
So, it's true: methanol _does_ cause blindness and insanity!
Anyone who works in a lab and is aware of the toxic effects of methanol
would find it difficult to believe that you are recommending spraying
it on a crop intended for direct human consumption. Let alone the
health of people breathing the methanol spray.
Dr. A.J.Travis, | Tony Travis
Rowett Research Institute, | JANET: <ajt at uk.ac.sari.rri>
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn, | other: <ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk>
Aberdeen, AB2 9SB. UK. | phone: 0224-712751
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