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Mari Iwaya-Inoue and Mutsumi Takata

The tepals of cut tulips (Tulipa gesneriana L. cv. Ile de France) kept at 20 °C had severely wilted 7 days after flower opening. Suppression of abscission and undesirable growth of tepals is required to extend vase life. Treatment with 50 mm trehalose in combination with 50 μm chloramphenicol (CAP) delayed abscission by 4 days compared with stems placed in distilled water or CAP without trehalose. Only 4% of trehalose+CAP-treated flowers exhibited tepal abscission 7 days after harvest, while 82% and 60% of flowers held in distilled water and CAP, respectively, did so; the tepals of trehalose+CAP-treated flower stems contained 50% more water than did those treated with CAP alone. Further, trehalose did not promote elongation of epidermal parenchyma cells in tepal tissues, but maintained radial enlargement of the cells. Thus, trehalose+CAP treatment is effective in prolonging vase life without abscission, water loss, or elongation of cells in tulip tepals, but slight wilting occurs in leaves.

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Kuang-Liang Huang and Wen-Shaw Chen

An experiment was conducted to measure the effects of pulse treatments of BA, sucrose, and BA before, after, or with sucrose, on the vase life of cut Eustoma flowers. A BA pulse at 50 mg·L-1 before 4% sucrose promoted the longevity of cut Eustoma flowers better than other treatments. Simultaneously, sucrose, glucose, and mannose concentrations in flowers during vase periods were maintained at higher levels in double pulse treatments than in the single pulses. Ethylene production in flowers 2 days after vase treatment was highest in the BA-treated flowers; intermediate in flowers pulsed with BA before, after, or with sucrose; and lowest in sucrose-treated flowers. Although a BA pulse increased ethylene production over that of controls, it inhibited senescence in cut Eustoma flowers. Respiration in flowers pulse-treated with sucrose or with BA before, after, or with sucrose, was significantly higher than that in controls. Results suggest that the vase life of cut Eustoma flowers is improved by either BA or sucrose in vase solution and especially when BA was pulsed before the sucrose pulse. Chemical name used: N6-benzyladenine (BA).

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Steven A. Altman and Theophanes Solomos

Continuous postharvest treatment of carnation flowers (Dianthus caryophyllus L. cv. Elliot's White) with 50 or 100 mM aminotriazole significantly extended useful vase life relative to flowers held in distilled H2O. No morphological changes symptomatic of floral senescence appeared in treated flowers until 12 to 15 days after harvest. The longevity of aminotriazole-treated flowers was extended to ≈18 days. The respiratory rate of aminotriazole-treated carnations was suppressed, and they exhibited no respiratory climacteric throughout the period of observation. The responsiveness of aminotriazole-treated flowers to exogenous ethylene appeared temporally regulated. Flowers treated with 50 mM aminotriazole for 2 days senesced in response to application of 10 μl exogenous ethylene/liter, whereas flowers treated for 24 days exhibited no morphological response to ethylene treatment. Chemical name used: 3-1H-amino-1,2,4-triazole-1-yl (aminotriazole).

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Heidi C. Wernett, Thomas J. Sheehan, Gary J. Wilfret, Francis J. Marousky, Paul M. Lyrene, and David A. Knauft

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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Navjot Kaur and Jiwan P. Palta

We investigated the use of lysophosphatidylethanolamine (LPE) for prolonging vase life of snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus L.). Freshly cut snapdragon spikes were set into a LPE solution at 25 mg·L-1 for 24 h and then transferred to deionized water. The vase life was enhanced by LPE. The flowers on spikes treated with LPE showed symptoms of wilting or browning 4 or 6 days later than those on the spikes given deionized water in inbred or `Potomac White', respectively. All the spikes were of marketable quality for 5 to 7 days after harvest when treated with LPE, whereas in the control only about half of the flowers were of marketable quality at 2 days after harvest. LPE treatment also delayed fresh mass loss, lowered endogenous ethylene production, and reduced ion leakage. These results suggest that LPE has commercial potential in enhancing vase life of snapdragons.

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Juan-Carlos Cevallos and Michael S. Reid

After storage at different temperatures for a simulated transportation period, the vase lives at 20 °C (68 °F) of carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus `Imperial White'), daffodils (Narcissus pseudonarcissus `King Alfred'), iris (Iris hollandica `Telstar'), killian daisies (Chrysanthemum maximum), paperwhite narcissus (Narcissus tazetta `Paperwhite'), roses (Rosa {XtimesX} hybrida `Ambiance'), and tulips (Tulipa gesneriana) decreased with increasing storage temperature. There were no significant differences between the vase life of flowers stored dry and flowers stored in water when storage temperatures were from 0 to 10 °C (32 to 50 °F). The vase life after wet storage at temperatures of 12.5 °C (54.5 °F) and greater was significantly higher than vase life after dry storage at those temperatures for all the flowers studied. Iris and carnation flowers survived storage at 15 and 20 °C (59 and 68 °F) only when stored in water.

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Kiyoshi Ohkawa, Youichi Kasahara, and Jung-Nam Suh

The effects of silver-containing compounds used for prolonging the vase life of cut rose (Rosa hybrida L. `Asami Red') flowers were investigated. Silver nitrate and RNA-Ag+tris (a ribonucleic acid-silver complex and trishydroxymethylaminomethane) increased the vase life by 2.7 days and prevented bent neck of cut rose flowers compared with the control, whereas silver thiosulfate (STS) did not have a significant effect on longevity. Fresh weights of the rose stems pretreated with silver nitrate or RNA-Ag+tris were maintained along with longer vase life. There were higher amounts of Ag+ in the basal parts of the stem in these treatments compared with STS treatment. Bacterial count at the cut surface of stems treated with either silver nitrate or RNA-Ag+tris were lower than STS-treated or control stems. These results indicated that the primary effect of silver-containing compounds on `Asami Red' roses was antimicrobial.

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Susan S. Han

Sucrose addition to the vase solution improved the postharvest qualities of cut liatris by increasing the length of inflorescences showing color and by prolonging the vase life of the spikes. The main effect of sucrose was on the development and opening of the flower heads with minimal effect on their longevity. Pulsing with concentrations of sucrose ≥10% for 20 hours prolonged the vase life of the spikes. Responses of spikes to the pulsed treatment varied greatly due to the differences in their degree of leafiness, thus limiting its commercial application. A continuous supply of 2.5% or 5% sucrose in the vase solution allowed most of the flower heads on the spikes to develop and doubled the vase life of the spikes.

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Rodney B. Jones, Margrethe Serek, and Michael S. Reid

The vase life of cut sunflowers given a simulated transport period (3 days dry storage at 8C) was significantly enhanced by a l-hour pulse with 0.01% Triton X-100 administered before storage. The Triton pulse increased solution uptake during the l-hour pulse, decreased fresh weight loss during dry storage, and significantly improved water uptake thereafter, resulting in greater leaf turgidity and longer vase life. Leaf stomata] conductance measurements indicated that Triton X-100 maintained stomatal opening at a higher level during the pulse and after storage, but had no effect during dry storage. Chemical name used: octylphenoxypolyethoxyethanol (Triton X-100).

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Robert H. Stamps and Daniel W. McColley

Established ground beds of leatherleaf fern were sprayed repeatedly with water, a flowable formulation of thiophanate-methyl, or one of four formulations of chlorothalonil on a predominantly weekly schedule. None of the treatments produced visible phytotoxicity symptoms or had any effect on yield (frond number and total fresh mass). However, average masses of fronds from plots treated with a liquid formulation of chlorothalonil were 21% greater than those from control plots. All chlorothalonil formulations left visible residues on the fronds and reduced frond vase life compared to fronds treated with water or thiophanate-methyl. Reduced vase life was due to more rapid desiccation of chlorothalonil-treated fronds. During those months (July—Sept.) when postharvest desiccation is most common, chlorothalonil reduced vase life of fronds by 36% to 62%. Vase life of fronds was generally reduced more by dry chlorothalonil formulations than by liquid ones, probably due to slightly higher application rates of dry formulations. Determination of the mode of action could lead to an understanding of the causes of frond curl syndrome. Until a remedy is found, chlorothalonil should not be used repeatedly on leatherleaf fern. Chemical names used: tetrachlorisophthalonitrile (chlorothalonil); dimethyl [(1,2-phenylene)-bis(iminocarbonothioyl)]bis[carbamate]) (thiophanate-methyl).