A study of the effectiveness of homoeopathically prepared dilutions of abscisic acid, molybdenum and allopurinol in inhibiting or promoting the germination of barley seeds (Hordeum vulgare)
Evans, Nicole Paula
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Introduction This study investigated the effectiveness of homoeopathic dilutions of abscisic acid (ABA), molybdenum and allopurinol on inhibiting or promoting the germination of barley seeds (Hordeum vulgare cv. Stirling, ex Caledon, Western Cape, South Africa, 1998 harvest). Recent research involving ABA and seed germination has shown mixed results, with Bruni (2001), finding there to be statistically significant biological effects, but Couchman (2001) not. Objective/Aim/Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of homoeopathic dilutions of ABA, molybdenum and allopurinol (two substances which have an effect on ABA metabolism), especially those above the 10-23 level (Avogadro’s dilution limit), on germination, in light of recent findings. Abscisic acid, a plant hormone and molybdenum, a trace element, both play an essential role in inducing dormancy of the seed. Allopurinol, a therapeutic drug, has also been shown to affect ABA metabolism and therefore seed germination. The study used all three substances individually and in combination, in homoeopathic dilutions ranging from 4CH to 200CH potency. Methodology There were 7 treatments with 5 potencies per treatment (4CH, 9CH, 15CH, 30CH and 200CH). Each potency level for each treatment had a control, which meant there were 5 controls per treatment. The seeds (distally cut) were placed in 9cm Petri dishes (20 seeds in each), with 5 repetitions, 100 seeds per dilution level with one control of 20 seeds. There were thus 600 (120 x 5) seeds per treatment and 4200 seeds in total (600 x 7 treatments). Seeds were germinated in the dark at a constant temperature. Counts were done every 24 hours for 3 days and the data recorded. The criterion for germination was radical emergence. Results The data was analysed statistically using Univariate Analysis of Variance (STATISTICA version 6). The results showed statistically significant interaction between treatments and potencies and a One-Way Anova was then used to analyse each treatment to determine the effectiveness of each potency. Statistically significant differences were noted between potencies for each treatment. From the results it was clear that the most effective treatment for stimulating germination was the treatment utilizing homoeopathic dilutions of allopurinol. The most effective treatment for inhibiting germination was the treatment utilizing ABA in homoeopathic dilutions. The 30CH (10-60) showed a statistically significant effect on the stimulation of germination across almost all treatments, whereas the 15CH (10-30) showed a statistically significant effect in inhibiting germination in most treatments. Conclusion It is evident from the results of this study that all the treatments produced distinct biological effects, whether it be stimulating germination or inhibiting germination in homoeopathic dilution.