According to research published in journal Frontiers in Plant Science, researchers found that bacterial attacks can be prevented from harming the crops through the emission of an aroma from tomato plants.
The researchers say that this compound called hexenyl butyrate (HB) will have the ability to protect crops against infections and droughts. Besides, it is also being said that the treatments from this compound will protect crops from biotic and abiotic stress easily, efficiently, and cost-effectively. The working mechanism of this compound is pretty simple. The compound closes the stomata (tiny openings in plants for them to breathe) of the plants which are key to protecting plants. According to researchers, this compound is not found in any of the products in the market making it important for the farming industry.
This volatile compound is easy to use. It can be applied by spraying onto plants and also by using diffuser devices. This compound is inexpensive with zero toxicity making it completely safe for food. Furthermore, it can easily be synthesized and according to the tests done, it is highly efficient, which makes it effective at low doses. So after applying this compound to the plants, it will close the plant's stomata, protect the plant from infection by Pseudomonas syringae bacteria, and ultimately increasing the resistance to it. As a result, the treated tomato plants are more tolerant to drought. Not only tomatoes, but it has also shown the efficiency to other several types of vegetables such as corn, alfalfa citrus, and tobacco families.
This compound has other applications such as controlling the fruit development and ripening processes. As the plants are treated with the compound, it causes plants to enter the induced lethargy since the closing of stomata involves delayed developmental process. This could be a positive and new strategy for controlling harvest times and adjusting them better to the needs of the market.