Effect of Bacteria on Scape Bending in Cut Gerbera jamesonii Flowers

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science

Including bacteria in the vase water of cut Gerbera jamesonii Bolus flowers resulted in an increase in scape curvature depending on the concentration of bacteria in the water, cultivar, and season. In the summer, a strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa or a mixed population of bacterial species, all isolated from the vase water of cut gerbera flowers, resulted in curvature of >90° in `Liesbeth' at 108 cfu/ml and in `Mickey' at 1010 cfu/ml. In winter, the lowest bacterial concentrations that resulted in such bending were 106 and 108 cfu/ml, respectively. `Mickey' showed bending at a lower water potential than `Liesbeth'. Comparison between these results and the bacterial counts in vase water and water at retail shops indicates that frequently observed scape bending is at least partly due to bacteria.

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