Postharvest Development of Leaf Yellowing in Cut Asiatic and Oriental Lilies

in HortScience
Author: Susan S. Han1
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  • 1 Dept. of Plant and Soil Sciences, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003

The development of postharvest leaf yellowing affects the quality of cut Oriental and Asiatic lilies. Without cold storage, lower leaves began to turn yellow ≈1 week after placing them in an interior environment. The development of leaf yellowing continued to progress upward until the vase life was over with >25% of the leaves chlorotic. Cold storage of cut lilies worsened this leaf disorder. The longer the duration of cold storage, the sooner the development of leaf yellowing and the higher the percentage of leaves that were chlorotic. Spraying leaves with a solution containing 25 mg·L-1 each of BA and GA4+7 significantly reduced cold-stored induced leaf yellowing in both Oriental and Asiatic lily. While the growth regulator treatment completely prevented leaf yellowing of cold-stored Asiatic lilies, its effectiveness in Oriental lilies diminished with the duration of cold storage. Timing of the growth regulator application was not critical, as there were no differences in leaf yellowing when the growth regulator solution was sprayed before or after the cold storage. The concentration of the growth regulators was inversely related to the development of leaf yellowing and concentrations <5 mg·L-1 each of BA and GA4+7 were not effective. Alternative means of applying the growth regulators were evaluated, including the addition of the growth regulators to the preservative solution or as a pulsed treatment. Both methods completely prevented leaf yellowing but also induced bud abortion. For practical application, spraying the growth regulator solution on the leaves prior to or after cold storage would significantly improve postharvest quality of the cut lilies.

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