Should we soak our rose seeds in an aspirin solution?

Title: Acetyl salicylic acid (Aspirin) and salicylic acid induce multiple stress tolerance in bean and tomato plants.

Authors: Senaratna, Tissa; Touchell, Darren; Bunn, Eric; Dixon, Kingsley.

Authors affiliation: Kings Park and Botanic Garden, West Perth, Australia.

Published in: Plant Growth Regulation, volumn 30, page 157-161, (2000).

Abstract: “The hypothesis that physiol. active concns. of salicylic acid (SA) and its derivs. can confer stress tolerance in plants was evaluated using bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.). Plants grown from seeds imbibed in aq. solns. (0.1-0.5 mM) of salicylic acid or acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) displayed enhanced tolerance to heat, chilling and drought stresses. Seedlings acquired similar stress tolerance when SA or ASA treatments were applied as soil drenches. The fact that seed imbibition with SA or ASA confers stress tolerance in plants is more consistent with a signaling role of these mols., leading to the expression of tolerance rather than a direct effect. Induction of multiple stress tolerance in plants by exogenous application of SA and its derivs. may have a significant practical application in agriculture, horticulture and forestry.”

In the conclusion section of the full paper the following appears:

“Enhancing stress tolerance in plants has major implications in agriculture, horticulture, forestry as well as in the re-establishment of natural vegetation. However a simple method for inducing multiple stress tolerance in plants without undesirable side effects has not been available till now. Seed imbibition or drenching with triazole compounds such as paclobutrazol, triademophone and uniconazole have been demonstrated to induce multiple stress tolerance in plants [9, 12, 21]. Unfortunately, these compounds also inhibit gibberellin biosynthesis in plants and hence have growth retarding effects. Salicylic acid and acetyl salicylic acid are not known to retard plant growth and no evidence of growth impairment of treated plants over untreated controls was observed in this study. The fact that seed imbibition of SA and ASA confers tolerance to plants suggests that these molecules trigger the expression of the potential to tolerate stress rather than having any direct effect as a protectant.”

Title: Effects of aspirin (ASP) and sulfamethoxazolum-trimetho-primum (SMZ-TMP) on germination and vigor of soybean seeds.

Authors: Yang Xiao-Jie; Sun Zhi-lin

Authors affiliation: Department of Biology, Qiqihaer University, Qiqiharer, Heilongjiang, 161006, China.

Published in: Zhiwu Shengtai Xuebao, volumn 27, pages 667-671, (2003).

Abstract: “The influences of different concentrations of ASP and SMZ-TMP on seed germination of soybean (Glycine max) were studied. The results indicated that the germination percentages, vigor index and root development were increased by presoaking the seeds in ASP and SMZ-TMP solutions. The optimal concentrations of ASP and SMZ-TMP soaking solutions are 50 mgcntdotL-1 (24 h) and 62.5 mgcntdotL-1 (12 h), respectively. The results also showed that, the relative conductivity of soybean seedlings was decreased by ASP soaking pretreatment, while scavenger enzymes were increased. Seed protein and amino acid content were increased by SMZ-TMP soaking pretreatment.”

I have been looking at the effects of salicylic acid too – I think I am going to try watering my plants with a solution of it when I get ready to start hardening stuff off to transplanting outside.