Postharvest Longevity of Cut-flower Gerbera. I. Response to Selection for Vase Life Components

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Department of Environmental Horticulture, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611
  • | 2 Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 5007 60th Street East, Bradenton, FL 34203
  • | 3 College of Agriculture, Sultan Qaboose University, Al-khod, Sultante of Oman
  • | 4 Department of Horticultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611
  • | 5 Department of Crop Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695

A broad source of Gerbera × hybrida Hort. germplasm was evaluated for vase life. Senescence mode, i.e., bending or folding of stems or wilting of ligulae was also recorded for flowers evaluated. Intensive selection was practiced to improve vase life. About 10% of the plants from a sample population were selected for having flowers with high vase life. Progeny means for vase life resulting from a topcross between these plants and `Appleblossom' were used to select five plants (about 1.5% of the sample population) whose flowers had high vase life. A diallel cross using these five plants as parents resulted in a progeny population with an increase in mean vase life of 3.4 days compared to mean vase life for the initial sample population. Increases in vase life means for days to bending, folding, and wilting were 0.3, 3.5, and 1.2 days, respectively. Plants with flowers which senesced due to wilting had the longest mean vase life before and after breeding. Changes in proportion of senescence modes were observed; bending decreased, folding and wilting increased. Frequencies of bending, folding, and wilting were compared to vase life means for 10 progenies. Proportion of bending generally decreased as vase life increased.

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