Postharvest Quality of Cut Roses Following Electron-beam Irradiation

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1100
  • | 2 Department of Plant Pathology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1020
  • | 3 501 Fox Hollow Drive, Kennett Square, PA 19348
  • | 4 Utilization Center for Agricultural Products, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-3150

Cut Rosa ×hybrida L. `Royalty' flowers were used to determine the efficacy of electron-beam irradiation for increasing postharvest quality and decreasing petal infection by Botrytis cinerea Pers. In an experiment for determining the injury threshold, roses received electron-beam irradiation of 0, 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kGy. Irradiation dosages ≥1 kGy caused necrosis on petal tissue and decreased postharvest life at 20 °C. In a second experiment to evaluate postharvest quality, roses were irradiated at 0, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, and 1 kGy. Dosages of 0.25 and 0.5 kGy slowed the rate of flower bud opening for 2 days but did not decrease postharvest quality when compared with nonirradiated roses. Roses that received irradiation dosages of 0.75 and 1 kGy showed unacceptable quality. In a third experiment, roses that had or had not been inoculated with B. cinerea were irradiated at 0, 0.25, 0.5, and 0.75 kGy. Irradiation did not control B. cinerea populations, and rose quality decreased as dosage increased. In a fourth experiment to determine the effect of irradiation on B. cinerea, conidia on water-agar plates exposed to dosages ≤1, 2, and 4 kGy germinated at rates of ≈90%, 33%, and 2%, respectively, within 24 h.

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