Jasmonic Acid (JA)

Last Updated: May 10, 2017

Definition - What does Jasmonic Acid (JA) mean?

Jasmonic acid (JA), also known commercially as Jasmonate, is a hormone produced by many plants. It is believed to play an integral role in a plant’s defense against consumption by herbivores.

If the plant sustains sudden damage from a chomping herbivore, it immediately releases jasmonic acid in response to the damage. The jasmonic acid floods the plant’s system and bursts into its stems and leaves.

JA not only deters further consumption by the herbivore but also helps the plant heal the wound. Depending on the plant variety, the jasmonic acid defense response in a plant can take several minutes up to several hours.

MaximumYield explains Jasmonic Acid (JA)

If a plant's tissue sustains a wound, such as during pruning, it flushes its system with jasmonic acid as an act of self-preservation and to assist wound healing. Whenever JA is produced by a plant, it is instantly thrust into a state of high stress. When a plant produces jasmonic acid and is under extreme stress, it’s overall growth is significantly slowed and it may not produce buds or flowers until the plant again feels safe and no longer under stress.

Ideally, this can be a benefit to gardeners when it is time to prune back a plant because after shearing or pruning the plant to the desired size, the plant's growth rate is reduced and it will not rapidly regrow. Some growers often purposefully stress out a marijuana plant by pruning so the plant produces not only elevated levels of jasmonic acid but also trichomes. The elevated hormones of JA and trichomes make any delayed bud production all the more rewarding because the buds end up containing high levels of trichomes, a valuable part of many plants.

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