Exploring the growth potential of Albizia procera and Leucaena leucocephala as influenced by magnetic fields


Abstract: Due to the discriminate use of plant chemicals and their resultant negative impact on the environment, researchers are interested in monitoring plant behavior as modified by various nonchemical influences such as magnetic fields. A pot experiment was designed to assess the growth potential of Albizia procera Roxb. (Sufed Sirin) and Leucaena leucocephala Lam. (Ipil Ipil) seedlings, established from seeds exposed to a magnetic field (MF) of 75 millitesla for 3 different time intervals, 5 min, 10 min, and 15 min respectively. After the seeds were exposed to a MF of 75 mT for 15 min, A. procera plants showed 49% more germination than in the control (41%), whereas L. leucocephala plants gained 37% more germination in the same treatment. A. procera had maximum plant height (13.1 cm) when seeds were exposed to a MF of 75 mT for 15 min, while the height gained by the control was only 7.1 cm. Similarly, L. leucocephala gained maximum plant height (17.8 cm) when seeds were treated with MF for 15 min, i.e. 137% greater than the height gained from nontreated seeds (7.5 cm). Seed exposure to MFs also resulted in higher collar diameter in both plants. In high-MF-treated A. procera (18.6 cm) seedlings, root length was 3 times longer than in the control (6.5 cm); MF-treated L. leucocephala seedlings gained maximum (63% longer) root length (18.9 cm), as well. A. procera had its maximum root-to-shoot ratio (R/S) (1.9) in the seedlings treated with low MF (5 min), whereas L. leucocephala had its maximum R/S (1.6) in nontreated seeds. Seeds exposed to MF for 5 min resulted in minimum R/S (0.9). The results clearly suggested that by increasing the time intervals for seed exposure to the fixed MF of 75 mT, the sowed seeds of both species showed higher growth rate.

Keywords: Albizia procera, Leucaena leucocephala, magnetic field, root/shoot ratio, seed germination

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