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Paola Yañez, Hajime Ohno, and Kiyoshi Ohkawa

Photoperiodic response and vase life of 28 cultivars of ornamental sunflower (Helianthus annuus) were evaluated. Plants were grown in a glasshouse under 16-hour long-day (LD) or 11.5-hour shortday (SD) conditions. Most cultivars (82%) reached visible flower bud stage earlier under SD than LD. All cultivars flowered under both SD and LD conditions, but in 26 cultivars (92.9%) flowering was significantly delayed under LD, demonstrating them to be quantitative SD plants. The delay was variable among the cultivars. A 14-day or greater hastening of flowering was found under SD in 18 cultivars. Photoperiod had no effect on flowering of `Lemon Eclair' and `Moonshadow'; these cultivars are day-neutral (DN) plants. For some cultivars the LD photoperiod increased plant height and the number of nodes and leaves. Vase life varied from 6.8 to 11.2 days depending on the cultivar, but no photoperiodic effect was found.

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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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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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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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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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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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Frederick S. Davies, Carlos E. Muñoz, and Wayne B. Sherman


Detached shoots of double-flowered peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] selections Fla. 6-1 and Fla. 0-5 were successfully opened in floral solutions containing 1 to 10% sucrose in deionized water. Addition of 8-hydroxyquinoline citrate (8-HQC), gibberellic acid (GA3), or 6-benzylaminopurine (BA) to solutions did not extend vase life. Solution uptake rate decreased over the 8-day life of the shoots and was influenced by solution molarity. Xylem plugging by pectic-type materials increased with time in solution. Addition of 1% ethanol to the floral solution hastened time of first opening, decreased the extent of xylem plugging, and extended vase life. Ethanol at 2% extended vase life and increased solution uptake rate over solutions containing sucrose alone.

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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).