Maleic hydrazide is a chemical compound that functions as a plant growth regulator. It is commonly used in agriculture to control the growth and development of plants, particularly to inhibit unwanted sprouting or to induce dormancy in certain crops.
Maleic hydrazide is primarily applied to inhibit the growth of potato sprouts during storage. When potatoes are harvested, they have the potential to develop sprouts during storage, which can lead to loss of quality and increased waste. By applying maleic hydrazide to the potatoes, the sprouting process is suppressed, extending the storage life of the tubers.
The compound works by interfering with the synthesis of gibberellin, a plant hormone that promotes cell elongation and growth. Maleic hydrazide inhibits the production of gibberellin, thereby reducing cell division and elongation in the plants, which results in the suppression of sprouting and growth.