COCONUT WATER YIELDS PLANT GROWTH HORMONES

LOS BAÑOS, LAGUNA, July 9, 2003 (BULLETIN)  — A process of extracting and concentrating the plant growth hormones in coconut water has been invented (Patent 29753). The end product called Cocogro can enhance tissue proliferation in tissue culture, increase vigor and germination of seeds, induce vigorous root formation in stem cuttings and promote vigorous and rapid growth of plants.

Cocogro is less expensive than imported growth hormones but is equally effective. Cocogro, however, is not a fertilizer substitute. The research team led by Dr. Juanita Mamaril developed the technology with support from PCARRD-DOST. It is now commercialized by UPLB - BIOTECH.

The technology involves passing the coconut water through filtration, percolation through an adsorption resin setup, extraction of the adsorbed auxins and giberrellins with alcohol, and further extraction of the resin to get an aqueous extract containing the cytokinins. The ratio of the alcohol to aqueous extract forms the basis for the formulation of tissue-culture media and for crop production purposes.

In coconut producing countries, especially the Philippines, copra producers and desiccating plants produce a lot of coconut water which is normally thrown away. This practice wastes potential raw materials. Coconut water, while it contains growth hormones and regulators, is very unstable and variable. With the technology, waste coconut water from the processing plants can be utilized for the extraction process, resulting in the production of another high- value byproduct from coconut.

Cocogro is naturally safe and environment friendly. Aside from enhancing plant growth and development, Cocogro also replaces synthetic plant growth hormones in tissue culture media. It enables plants to be more efficient in nutrient uptake due to well developed roots and rootlets, enhances water uptake due to extensive root system, increases drought resistance due to increased water retention by the roots and induces early flowering.

Aside from orchids, Cocogro can also be applied to various ornamental plants, both foliage and flowering. It can also be useful in growing vegetables and many other commercial crops such as soybean and various fruit crops.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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