Field experiments were undertaken at national agricultural research centre Islamabad, Pakistan during 2004 and 2005 to study the seed soaking effects of 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid (ethrel), gibberellic acid and maleic hydrazide (MH) on sex modification in cucumber and to find out the critical phytohormones level of endogenous hormones for lowest sex ratio. Seeds were soaked in different concentrations of growth regulators for 20 h prior to sowing. Seed soaking with MH at 450 mmol/L highly increased the number of pistillate flowers and fruit yield per plant and decreased the sex ratio compared to that of untreated control. The phytohormone levels of indole acetic acid (IAA) at blooming and fruiting stages were significantly higher with MH at 450 mmol/L and had a positive significant correlation with the number of pistillate flower/plant and negative correlation with sex ratio. Fruit yield had also a positive significant correlation with endogenous IAA. Ethrel also significantly lowered themale to female sex ratio in cucumber.
Key words: Cucumis sativus, sex expression, ethrel, gibberellic acid and maleic hydrazide.
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