Flower Bud Blast in Easter Lily Is Induced by Ethephon and Inhibited by Silver Thiosulfate

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  • 1 Department of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721
  • | 2 Department of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721

Interactions of ethephon and irradiance reduction were investigated in terms of flower bud blasting in Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum Thunb. `Nellie White'). Silver thiosulfate (STS) was investigated as an inhibitor of ethylene-induced bud abortion. Fourteen days of 92% irradiance reduction significantly increased bud abortion when plants were exposed to 2.1 mm ethephon. Bud abortion was 39% and 60% for plants grown in ambient and reduced irradiance, respectively. Silver thiosulfate was applied to plants 2 or 3 weeks after the date of the first visible bud, followed by ethephon treatment 2 days later. Bud abortion was significantly reduced by 1 or 2 mm STS, without phytotoxicity. Pretreatment with 1 or 2 mm STS as early as 4 weeks before ethephon exposure significantly reduced ethephon-induced bud abortion. Silver thiosulfate application could inexpensively reduce flower bud abortion during latter stages of greenhouse forcing of Easter lilies.

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Presently, Graduate Research Assistant, Dept. of Horticultural Sciences, North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC 27695.to whom reprint requests should be sent. Current address: Dept. of Horticulture, Clemson Univ., Clemson, SC 29634.
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