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  • 1 Department of Environmental Horticulture, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611-0670

Premature deterioration and/or wilting of cut flowers such as roses (“bent neck”) has been attributed to vascular blockage within the cut stem. Vascular blockage has been attributed to both the proliferation of bacteria in the cut flower water and/or to products exuded by the stem. Separation of these causative agents is prevented by the inability to obtain intact microbe-free flowers. With the objective to produce microbe-free flowers, 36 miniature rose cultivars were screened for their capacity to flower in vitro. Stem segments containing single lateral buds were surface sterilized in 1.05% (v/v) sodium hypochlorite and rinsed three times in sterile distilled deionized water. Buds were established on medium consisting of Murashige and Skoog mineral salts, Woody Plant Medium organics, 3.0% (w/v) sucrose, 0.5 mg/liter benzyladenine, 0.1 mg/liter indole-3-acetic acid, and 50 mg/liter each citric and ascorbic acids. Medium was solidified with 1.5 g/liter gelrite and 4 g/liter TC® agar. Of the 36 cultivars screened, eight (22%) grew poorly in vitro. Of the 28 responsive cultivars, 14 (50%) produced flower buds in vitro However, only six cultivars produced open flowers in vitro.

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