The demand for the nobile-type dendrobium as a potted orchid has been increasing worldwide. The unique flowering characteristics are one of the reasons for its increased popularity. Using sea freight to transport living plants globally is an effective way to reduce shipping costs compared with air freight. However, shipping by sea from Taiwan to the United States requires 2 to 3 weeks. During shipping, plants receive no light and no water, which leads to drought and other stresses. Thus, questions regarding whether long-term dark shipping is detrimental to the plants need to be addressed.
During long-term shipping, plants may be exposed to drought stress as a result of no watering while en route. Mittleheuser and van Steveninck (1969) reported that abscisic acid is responsible for stomatal closure during the stress response to reduce the transpiration rate. During drought stress, the progressive closure of stomata leads to a decrease in Pn (Medrano et al., 2001). Lopez and Runkle (2008) reported that, regardless of the temperature and duration of the storage, there was a decrease of Pn in Impatiens hawkeri ‘Harmony White’ cuttings compared between pre-storage and 11 d after storage. When the storage duration increased from 0 to 5 d, Pn decreased from 10.6 to 2.4 μmol·m−2·s−1 of CO2 and respiration of the cuttings increased. With Phalaenopsis Sogo Yukidian ‘V3’, Pn was significantly reduced after long-term dark shipping and 6 to 9 d were required for Pn to recover after termination of dark shipping (Hou et al., 2010).
Post-production flower longevity may also be compromised after shipping. For example, the longevity of Kalanchoe shipped for 9 d was shortened by 1 week compared with Kalanchoe shipped for 3 d (Leonard and Nell, 2000). In addition to flower longevity, shipped plants might also produce different flowering characteristics compared with non-shipped plants. Rajapakse et al. (1996) found that flowers grown from cuttings of chrysanthemum ‘Anna’ stored at 0 or 3 °C were smaller than those grown from nonstored cuttings. However, Lopez and Runkle (2008) reported no apparent effects of storage temperature or duration on the time required to flowering for New Guinea impatiens. Thaxton et al. (1988) reported that after storage at 30 °C, bud abscission of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis increased, even when they were stored for only 4 d. Hibiscus stored at 10 °C had a better visual quality compared with those stored at 20 and 30 °C. In poinsettias, rooting quality was negatively impacted after 2 d of storage at 20 and 25 °C, 4 d at 0 °C, 6 d at 5 °C, and 8 d at 10 and 15 °C compared with non-shipped plants (Faust and Enfield, 2010).
Lin et al. (2011) found that 2 weeks of 10 °C cooling is sufficient to complete vernalization on D. Sea Mary ‘Snow King’ and D. Love Memory ‘Fizz’. However, no research was found in the literature regarding the effect of long-term dark shipping on photosynthesis of nobile-type dendrobiums. Therefore, this research examined the effect of shipping environment, in terms of the duration and temperature, for nobile-type dendrobiums. Furthermore, assessment of the flowering quality of nobile-type dendrobium after shipping was also investigated.
Andrade, J.L. 2003 Dew deposition on epiphytic bromeliad leaves: An important event in a Mexican tropical dry deciduous forest J. Trop. Ecol. 19 479 488
Bolhar-Nordenkampf, H.R., Long, S.P., Baker, N.R., Oquist, G., Schreiber, U. & Lechner, E.G. 1989 Chlorophyll fluorescence as a probe of the photosynthetic competence of leaves in the field: A review of current instrumentation Funct. Ecol. 3 497 514
Davies, W.J., Wilson, J.A., Sharp, R.E. & Osonubi, O. 1981 Control of stomatal behavious in water-stressed plants, p. 163–185. In: Jarvis, P.G. and T.A. Mansfeld (eds.). Stomatal physiology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK
Faust, J.E. & Enfield, A.L. 2010 Effect of temperature and storage duration on quality and rooting performance of poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima ‘Prestige Red’) cuttings Acta Hort. 877 1799 1807
Hew, C.S. & Yong, J.W.H. 2004 The physiology of tropical orchids in relation to the industry. 2nd Ed. World Scientific, Singapore
Hou, J.Y., Setter, T.L. & Chang, Y.C.A. 2010 Effects of simulated dark shipping on photosynthetic status and post-shipping performance in Phalaenopsis Sogo Yukidian ‘V3’ J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 135 183 190
Ichihashi, S. 1997 Orchid production and research in Japan, p. 171–212. In: Arditti, J. and A.N. Pridgeon (eds.). Orchid biology: Reviews and perspectives, VII. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Leonard, R.T. & Nell, T.A. 2000 Effects of production and postproduction factors on longevity and quality of kalanchoe Acta Hort. 518 121 124
Lin, M., Starman, T.W., Wang, Y.T. & Niu, G. 2011 Vernalization duration and light intensity influence flowering of three hybrid nobile dendrobium cultivars HortScience 46 406 410
Lopez, R.G. & Runkle, E.S. 2008 Low-temperature storage influences morphological and physiological characteristics of nonrooted cuttings of New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri) Postharvest Biol. Technol. 50 95 102
Medrano, H., Escalona, J.M., Bota, J., Gulias, J. & Flexas, J. 2001 Regulation of photosynthesis of C3 plants in response to progressive drought: Stomatal conductance as a reference parameter Ann. Bot. (Lond.) 89 895 905
Mittelheuser, C.J. & van Steveninck, R.F.M. 1969 Stomatal closure and inhibition of transpiration induced by (RS)-abscisic acid Nature 221 281 282
Rajapakse, N.C., Miller, W.B. & Kelly, J.W. 1996 Low-temperature storage of rooted chrysanthemum cuttings: Relationship to carbohydrate status of cultivars J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 121 740 745
Thaxton, D.R., Kelly, J.W. & Frett, J.J. 1988 Control of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L. bud abscission during shipping Sci. Hort. 34 131 137
Wang, Y.T. 2007 Temperature, duration in simulated shipping, and thermal acclimatization on the development of chilling injury and subsequent flowering of Phalaenopsis J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 132 202 207
Yen, C.Y.T., Starman, T.W., Wang, Y.T., Holzenburg, A. & Niu, G. 2008a Timing of nutrient termination and reapplication for growth, flower initiation, and flowering of the nobile dendrobium orchid J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 133 501 507
Yen, C.Y.T., Starman, T.W., Wang, Y.T. & Niu, G. 2008b Effects of cooling temperature and duration on flowering of the nobile dendrobium orchid HortScience 43 1765 1769