Cultivation, Methods of Propagation, Factors Affecting Cultivation and Plant Hormones

Cultivation, Methods of Propagation, Factors Affecting Cultivation and Plant


• Cultivation

• Methods of propagation

• Factors affecting cultivation

• Plant hormones


At the end of this
lecture, student will be able to

• Explain the various methods of propagation, advantages and
disadvantages of cultivation

• Discuss the effect of following parameters on cultivation

– Altitude

– Temperature

– Rainfall

– Day length and radiation characteristics

– Soil and soil fertility

– Fertilizers and manures

• Describe pests and pesticides

• Enumerate various plant hormones

• Discuss the role of plant hormones in growth Cultivation


• Cultivation is a process of preparing and use of land for growing crops

• Preparing and Use of land

• Factors from agricultural to pharmaceutical sphere


• Purity and Quality

• Good quality

• Better yield and Therapeutic quality

• Regular supply

• Industrialization (Coffee and cocoa cultivation in Kerala)

• Modern technologies


• High cost

• Prone to loss

Methods of

• Sexual method (Seed propagation)

• Asexual method (Vegetative propagation)

Method (Seed Propagation)

• Should be collected from the perfectly ripe fruits

• Should be stored in a dry and cool place

• Must not be over dried

• Long storage of seeds reduces its germinating power

Examples: Cinnamon, Cocoa, Nutmeg etc

• Sometimes immediate sowing of seeds are advised

Cultivation- Seed
propagation method

• Slow germinating seeds – soaked in water or 0.2% solution
of gibberelic acid for 48 hours before sowing

• More drastic methods are used such as

– Soaking in sulphuric acid eg. henbane seeds

– Partial removal of testa by grind stone. eg. Henbane seeds

– Scarification of seeds. eg. Ipomea, gave 95% germination
in 8 days

• Chemical treatments – gibberelic acid, cytokinins,
ethylene, thiourea, potassium nitrate or sodium hypochlorite

• Gibberelic acid – dormant seeds & stimulates the
seedling growth

• Thiourea – those do not germinate in dark or high

Methods of
Propagating Seeds / Sowing Seeds

Seed Propagation
Method – Advantages

• Bear heavily

• Long lived

• Sturdy

• Easy to raise

• Chance seedlings of superior merits

• Where other methods cannot be utilized, this is only
method of choice

Seed Propagation
Method – Disadvantages

• Cost of harvesting, spraying of pesticides

• Not uniform in growth, yielding capacity

• More time to bear

• Not possible to avail the modern technologies

Method (Vegetative Propagation)

Vegetative parts of the

• Bulbs (Squill)

• Corms (Colchicum)

• Tubers (Aconite)

• Rhizomes (ginger)

• Division (Rhubarb, Gentian)

• Runners and offsets (Chamomile & Mint)

• Suckers and Stolons (Liquorice & Valerian)

• Cuttings or Portions (Mint, Vanilla)

• Layering (Cascara)

• Grafting and Budding:

• Budding – Piece of bark bearing a bud into a suitable
cavity or a T shaped slit made in the bark of the stock

• Fermentation

• Inoculation

• Cell culture

Advantages of asexual
method (Vegetative propagation)

• No variation

• Seedless varieties

• Bear earlier

• Disease resistant plants

• Modifying influence of root stocks on scion

• Inferior and unsuitable varieties

Disadvantages of
asexual method (Vegetative propagation)

• Not vigorous in growth

• Not long lived

• No new varieties can be evolved by this method

affecting cultivation of crude drugs

• Growth and development

• Nature and quantity of secondary metabolites

– Altitude

– Temperature

– Rainfall

– Day length and radiation characteristics

– Soil and soil fertility

– Manures and fertilizers

– Pests

– Important factor


• Some plants grow in higher altitude, some in medium
altitude and some in sea level

• Cinchona succirubra – low altitude with NO alkaloids

• Bitter principle of Gentiana lutea increases with increase
in altitude

• Alkaloids of Aconitum napellus, Lobelia inflata, oil content
of thyme decreases with increase in altitude

• Pyrethrum – lower altitude – increased vegetative growth,
High altitude – increased flower heads

1000 – 2000 M

Tea                              1000 – 1500 M

Camphor                   1500 – 2000 M

250 – 1000 M


• Controls the development and metabolism in plants

• Exist in variable range of temperatures

• Plants in tropical and subtropical places – withstand heat
in summer, lack frost resistance in winter

• Optimum temperature for nicotine in Nicotiana rustica is
20OC, less incase at 11-12OC and at 30OC

• Fixed oil produced at lower temperature – more double

Cinchona   60 – 75oF

Coffee        55 –

Tea             70 –


• Effect of rain fall should be considered with relation to

– Annual rainfall

– Distribution throughout the year

– Effect on humidity

– Effect coupled with the water holding capacity of the soil

• Continuous rain – Leaching out of water soluble components

• Senna – Leaf bio mass

• Xerophytic plants

Day Length
and Radiation Characteristics

• Vary much in their light and radiation requirements

• Wild condition – Shade requirements are met

• Cultivation – Shade should be provided

• Light an important factor – alkaloids and glycosides

– Belladona, Stramonium, C. ledgeriana, full sun shine ↑ses alkaloids

– D. stramonium var. tatula – intense light for long time ↑ses
the hyoscine content at the time of flowering

• Catharanthus roseus – irradiated with near UV light –
stimulates the synthesis of dimeric alkaloids

• Day and night changes – Nicotiana sylvestris, benzyl
alcohol increases in night, no increase in volatiles like linalool,
caryophyllene etc

• Flowering plants – day length pattern

• Peppermint leaves –

– Long day, more of menthone, menthal, traces of menthofuran

– Short day, menthofuran is major

• Types of radiation

– Ocimum basillicum – UV-b radiation increases the phenyl
propanoids, terpenoids, falvonoids and anthocyanins


• Digitalis – exposed to 1000 ppm of CO2, digoxin content
increased by 3.5 times


Pest and
Pest Control


• Undesired plant or animal or microorganisms


• Synthetic and natural sources effective in small
concentration against pests


Virus, fungi, insects, weeds, non-insect pests etc


• Mosaic virus- necrosis of leaves, stems etc

• Tobacco mosaic virus – tobacco, digitalis etc

• Cucumber mosaic virus – digitalis and Hyocyamus

• Yellow vein mosaic virus, graft transmissible virus etc


Fungus affects the plant and decreases the yield

• Eg. Ascophyta atropae – leaf necrosis

• Cercospora atropae – leaf spot

• Pythium spinosa

• Cercospora dioscorea

• Other diseases are damping off (death of seeds), downy
mildew (white and grey patch in leaf), powdery mildew (white powdery patch),
rust and smuts (in cereals)


• Causes drastic damage – Agrotis, caterpillar, grass
hopper, spiders, ticks, mites etc

• Either by Biting and Chewing or by Piercing and Sucking


• Undesired Plants

• Compete for nutrient, sunlight, space and water

• Enhance the effects of other pests

• Even causes allergies to humans

– Parthenium causes hay fever

– Poison ivy causes dermatitis

Non Insect Pests

• Vertebrates – rats, monkeys, birds, rabbits etc

• Non – Vertebrates- snails, mites, crabs etc

• Contaminate the crops with faecal matter

Control Methods

• Mechanical

• Agricultural

• Biological

• Chemical

Method of Pest Control Methods

• Collection – Eggs,
larvae, pupae, small insects

• Trapping

– Used to capture rats, mice, flying insects etc

– Flavoured attractants were used

– Rose oil / anise oil mixed with saw dust

• Pruning / Cutting

• Burning

– Helps to eradicate both plant pest & animal pest

– Preferred when pruning or cutting is not possible

• Hand picking,
Shaking and Beating

method of Pest Control Methods

• Advanced plant breeding techniques – genetically
manipulated / pest resistant crops

• Systemic insecticides

• Crop rotation

• Deep ploughing – eradicate the weeds / early stages of

• Change in environment

Eg. Checking supply of foods, spreading of oil layer in
water with mosquito larvae

method of Pest Control Methods

• Combating the pests, mostly the insects, with other living
organisms and the latter will be the parasite form


• Sex phremones

• 7, 8, epoxy 2 methyloctadecane – gypsy moth

• Rabbit destroys certain types of weeds

• Birds eat insects

• Certain flies and wasps lay their eggs on larger insects,
which further hatch into smaller larvae and consume the body of the insect


method of Pest Control Methods

• Rodenticides –
against rodents like rats, mice etc

• Insecticides –
against various insects and arthropods

• Ovicides –
against egg stage

• Larvicides –
against the larva stage of insects

• Acaricides –
against ticks and mites (Chlorbenzolate)

• Herbicides /

– Used to kill or inhibit the growth of the undesired plant

– Protective or eradicant activity in the form of spray,
aerosol, suspension etc

– Stomach poisons – protective in action, Contact poisons –

– Fumigants and insect repellent


• Chlorinated hydro
DDT, DDE, BHC, Gammaxine, Aldrin, Eldrin etc

• Organo phosphorous
Dichlorvos, Malathion, Methyl parathion, Carbophenothion,
Trichlorophon, Tetra ethyl pyro phosphate etc

• Carbamates:

• Inorganic
Calcium arsenate, Lead arsenate, Zinc phosphite etc

• Fumigants:
Aluminium phosphide, Hydrogen cyanide, Ethylene dichloride, Methyl bromide,

• Natural Pesticides:
Tobacco, Pyrethrum, Derris, Neem, Sabadilla

Properties of Pesticides

• Nontoxic, non-injurious to medicinal plant and humans

• Selective in action and effective in small concentration

• Stable under normal storage conditions

• Non inflammable

• Non corrosive

• Free from obnoxious odour

• Non-cumulative in soil

Soil and
soil fertility

• Fertilizers and manures

• Most important natural resource

• Provides anchorage, water and essential minerals

• Soil Fertility

• Growth depends on the

– Physical arrangement

– Nature of soil particles

– Organic matter

– Living organisms of soil

• Upper shallow layer – friable, plants find foot hold and

• Clay – finest particle holds the nutrient

• Depending upon the size of the mineral matter it is
classified as,

Less than 0.002 mm                 Fine clay

0.002 – 0.02 mm                       Coarse clay or silt

0.02 – 0.2 mm               
           Fine sand

0.2 – 2 mm                                 Coarse sand

• If the soil contains less than

0.5 % organic matter            – Poor soil

1.5 – 5 %                       – Rich soil

0.5 – 1.5 %      
Intermediate soil

• Based on the percentage of clay covered,

More than 50 % clay                Clay

30 – 50 % clay                           Loamy

20 – 30 % clay                           Silt loam

10 – 20 % clay                           Sandy loam

More than 70 % sand              Sandy soil

More than 20 % lime               Calcarious soil

• Good Soil – 50 % pore space, water and rest 50 % pore
space air

• PH: 6.5 – 7.5 – Optimum range

• Acidic Soil, 
Alkaline Soil

• CO2, Water, Sunlight and Minerals

• C, H, O, N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, B, M0, Cl;
Na, Co, Va , Si

Chemical Fertilizers

• Basic nutrients – C, H, O 96% in plants – present in
atmosphere, no need to apply

• Primary nutrients – Large amounts – N, P, K

• Secondary nutrients – Smaller quantity – Mg, Ca, S

• Micro elements – Trace elements – Cu, Mn, Fe, B, Z

• C, O2, N2, H2, Chlorine – air and water

Based on functions
performed in plants:

• Basic structure: C, H, O

• Energy storage, bond transfer: N, S, P

• Charge Balance: K, Ca, Mg

• Enzyme activation & electron transport: Fe, MN, Zn,
Cu, B, Mo, Cl

Mobility in soil:

• Mobile: Highly soluble, not adsorbed on clay complex; NO3,
SO4=, Cl

• Less Mobile: Soluble, adsorbed on clay complex; K+,
NH4+, Ca+, Cu++

• Immobile: Highly reactive, gets fixed in soil; H2PO4,
HPO4=, Zn++

Mobility in Plants

• Helps in finding the deficient nutrient

• Mobile nutrient moves to the growing point in case of

• N, P, K – Highly mobile

• Zn – Moderatley mobile

• S, Fe, Mn, Cu, Mo, Cl – less mobile

• Ca, B – Immobile

Nutrients based on
chemical nature

• Metals: K, Ca, Mg, FE, Mn, Zn, Cu

• Non-metals: N, P, S, B, Mo, Cl

• Cations: K, Ca, Mg, FE, Mn, Zn, Cu

• Anions: NO3, H2PO4, SO4


• Materials having definite chemical with high analytical
value that supply plant nutrients in available form

• Mostly organic, except CaCN2 – Inorganic

– Complete fertilizer
all three major nutrients: N P K

– Incomplete
fertilizers –
Lacking any one major nutrients

– Straight
fertilizers –
only one nutrient; murate of potash

– Complex fertilizer
more than one primary/major nutrient produced by chemical reactions

– Mixed fertilizers –
2/ more mixed as dry powders, granules, pellets, bulk blends or liquids

Methods of
applications of Fertilizers


• Broadcasting at planting

• Topdressing


• Plough sole placement

• Deep placement

• Subsoil placement

Localised placement

• Drill placement

• Hill placement

• Pellet placement

In liquid form

• Starter solutions

• Sprays – foliar

• Direct application to soil

• Through irrigation water


Ammonium / nitrate

fertilizers –
Ammonium sulphate, chloride, phosphate

Nitrate fertilizers
Sodium nitrate, calcium nitrate, Nitro phosphate

ions –
Ammonium nitrate, Calcium ammonium nitrate

Amides – Urea,
Urea phosphate, Urea sulphate

Nitrogen solutions
Aqueous ammonia, anhydrous ammonia, Solution of urea, ammonium nitrate,

Slowly available N
fertilizers –
Urea- formaldehyde compounds, Oxamide


• Phosphorus when burnt gives P2O5; with water its gives
meta phosphoric acid, HPO4

• Meta phosphoric acid with water gives ortho phsphoric acid
– H3PO4

• H atoms are replaced, 3 salts are formed

– Ca(H2PO4)2
– water soluble –
superphospahte, enriched superphosphate, triple superphosphate,
ammonium phosphate

– Ca2(HPO4)2  dicalcium phosphate – citric acid soluble
– raw and steamed bone meal

– Ca3(PO4)2
(tricalcium phosphate) –
mineral acid soluble – rock phosphate, raw bone
meal, steamed bone meal

• Plants take P2O5 in the form of H2PO4 – supplies available
P2O5 – Superphsphates


Raw materials for manufacturing K nutrient,

• Carnallite (KCl, MgCl2, 6H2O)

• Kainite (KCl MgSO4, 3H20)

• Langbeinite (K2SO4, 2MgSO4)

• Sylvite (KCl)

Sources of potassium

• Potassium chloride or murate of potash (60-62 % K2O)

• Potassium sulphate or sulphate of potash (48-52 % K2O)

• Potassium magnesium sulphate (20-30 % K2O)

• Potassium nitrate (44 % K2O)

• Bittern potash (7 % K2O)


• Farm yard manure, compost castor seed cake, poultry waste,
neem seed cake, Blood meal, fish meal, bone meal

• 3-6 % nitrogen, 2 % phosphates, and 1-1.5% potash


• Micro-organisms or lower organisms

• Examples: Rhizobium, Azotobacter, Azosperillum, Blue green
algae Etc

Plant Hormones

• Naturally occurring growth regulators – low concentration
controls the physiological processes

• Plant growth regulators – Endogenous & Exogenous

• Growth and development

• Five groups of plant hormones

– Auxins,

– Gibberelins,

– Cytokinins,

– Abscisic acid,

– Ethylene

Use of Plant Hormones

• Regulating cell enlargement

• Cell division & differentiation

• Organogenesis

• Senescence

• Dormancy


• In 1931, Dutch workers

– Auxin-a (human urine) and auxin-b (cereals)

• General term – Promote the elongation of coleoptile

• Involved in

– Internode elongation

– Leaf growth

– Initiation of vascular tissues

– Cambial activity

– Fruit setting in the absence of pollination

– Fruit growth

– Apical dominance

– Inhibition of root growth

– Influencing physical, chemical properties in leaf

– Inhibition of lateral buds

• Major auxin –
Indole Acetic acid (IAA)

• Other natural

– Indole 3 Acetonitrile,

– 4 chloroindole 3 AA

– Phenyl acetic acid

Synthetic auxins

• Indole 3 butyric acid

• 2 Naphtyloxy acetic acid

• α naphthyl acetic acid

• 1 naphthyl acetamide

• 2, 4 dichloro phenoxy acetic acid

• 2, 4, 5 tri chloro phenoxy acetic acid

• 5 carboxy methyl NN dimethyl carbamate

Practical uses of

• Low concentration –
rooting of woody, herbaceous cuttings

• Higher concentration
selective herbicides or weed killers

– 1:500 000 solution of NAA for 24 hrs subsequently develop

– 2, 4 Dichloro phenoxy acetic acid – toxic to dicots,
little effect against monocots

– Carbamates and urea derivatives – toxic to grass but no effect
on dicots


• In Japan, rice plants affected by a disease – plant grow
taller and not support themselves – Gibberella fugikuroi

• Crystalline active material – Gibberelin

• GA1, GA2, GA3

• GA1 is isolated from Phaseolus multiflorus

• GA3 – Gibberelic acid

• By 1980, 58 gibberelins were known; 50% from fungus, 50%
from higher plants

• Gibberelins – leaves, accumulate in relatively large
quantities in the immature seeds and fruits of some plants

• Cell elongation – sub-apical meristem region where young internodes
are developing

Important Actions of

• Initiation of synthesis of various hydrolytic and
proteolytic enzymes upon which seed germination and seedling establishment

• Used to treat secondary metabolites like volatile oils,
terpenoids, alkaloids, glycosides etc


• Specific effect on cell division (cytokinesis)

• Not confined only to cell division; also regulate the
pattern and frequency of organ production; position and shape

• Inhibitory effect on senescence

• Kinetin –
autoclaved DNA of herring sperm

• Zeatin – liquid
endosperm of coconut and in extracts of maize embryos

• Complex – Cambial region of various woody tissues

• Tissue culture work – promote the formation of
adventitious buds and shoots from undifferentiated cells


• Natural growth inhibitors – affect bud opening, seed
germination and development of dormancy

• Abscisic acid (ABA), natural, fungus Cenospoara rosicola

• Carotenoids – Similar to abscisic acid

• Xanthophylls – Violaxanthin produce a germination inhibitor
on exposure to light

• Related substances – Vomifoliol (have same activity as
abscisic acid in stomatal closure tests)

• Synthetic growth inhibitors – maleic hydrazide, N dimethyl
amino succinamic acid


• Evolved by stored apples; inhibited the growth of potato
shoots enclosed with them

• Role in fruit ripening

• Synthesized from S adenosyl methionine

• Stimulation of de novo synthesis

• Secretion of cell wall dissolving enzymes like cellulase
during leaf abscission and ripening of fruit

• Ethephon (2 chloroethyl) phosphonic acid is a compound
which gives similar response to that of ethylene

Growth Regulators

• Aliphatic and aromatic carboxylic acids

• Phenolic and neutral compounds

• Salicylates

• Polyamines

• S and N heterocyclic compounds, including alkaloids and

• Brassinosteroids – seeds, pollens, galls, leaves, flower
buds and shoots

• Other substances stimulate cell enlargement and cell
division and influence gene expression and nucleic acid metabolism at the
molecular level


• Cultivation is a process of preparing and use of land for
growing crops

• Methods of propagation includes both sexual and asexual

• Sexual method is by using seeds and the germinating
capacity is improved by using physical or chemical treatments

• Asexual method is by using any vegetative part of the

• Both sexual and asexual methods has its own advantages and

• The factors that affects cultivation includes altitude,
temperature, rainfall, day length and radiation characters, atmospheric
conditions, fertilizers and manures, pest and pest control etc

• The growth, development and the production of active
constituents varies according to the above said factors

• Active constituents varies according to the altitude where
the plant grows

• Temperature controls the development and metabolism in

• Except xerophytic plants, all other plants require water
either in the form of irrigation or rainfall

• Day length and radiation characteristics affects the
composition of the constituents

• Pests are undesired plants or animals or microorganisms
which causes damage to crops & includes virus, fungi, insects, weeds and non-insect

• Pests can be controlled by mechanical method, agricultural
method, biological method and chemical method

• Soil fertility is the ability of the soil to provide the
nutrients in correct proportion and quantity to the plants

• Soil can be classified based on particle size, %
composition of clay, mineral content etc

• Chemical fertilizers includes primary nutrients, secondary
nutrients and micro elements

• Manures and bio fertilizers are also used for the proper
growth of plants

• Plant hormones are naturally occurring growth regulators
and in low concentration controls the physiological processes

• Plant hormones includes auxins, gibberelins, cytokinins,
abscisic acid and ethylene

• Generally auxins, gibberelins and cytokinins promotes
growth, whereas abscisic acid and ethylene are growth inhibitors

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