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Yoram Mor, Michael S. Reid, and Anton M. Kofranek


Senescence of sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus L.) flowers was associated with a climacteric rise in ethylene (C2H4) production. Pretreatment for 8 min with 4 mM silver thiosulfate (STS) doubled the vase life of the flowers and enhanced opening of buds on the spike. An overnight pulse at 20°C with 4% sucrose also promoted bud opening. A combined STS and sucrose treatment improved flower quality by promoting bud opening of spikes cut with tight florets, and by delaying floret senescence and abscission in both fresh and stored flowers. Aminooxyacetic acid (AOA) was less effective than STS in extending the vase life of sweet peas.

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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).

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D. Badiyan, R.B.H. Wills, and M.C. Bowyer

Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus L. `Chitchat'), delphinium (Delphinium ajacis L. `Bellisimo'), chrysanthemum (Dendranthema grandiflora RAM. `Regan'), tulip (Tulipa hybrid `Golden Brush'), gerbera (Gerbera jamesonii H. Bolus `Manovale'), oriental lily (Lilium asiaticum L. `Specisiom Simplon'), rose (Rosa hybrid L. `Carnavale') and iris (Iris hollandica Tub. `Blue Magic') cut flower stems were placed at 20 °C in water containing the NO donor compound 2,2'-(hydroxynitrosohydrazino)-bisethanamine (DETA/NO) at 10 and 100 mg·L-1 and after 24 h, transferred to humidified air containing 0.1 μL·L-1 ethylene. Compared with flowers kept in water, the vase life of all eight flowers was extended by DETA/NO with an average extension of about 60% with the range being about 200% for gerbera to 10% for chrysanthemum. DETA/NO appears to have widespread applicability to cut flowers and offers a simple technology to extend vase life.

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Heidi C. Wernett, Gary J. Wilfret, Thomas J. Sheehan, Paul M. Lyrene, Frank G. Martin, Timothy L. White, Gregory L. Powell, and Charles J. Wilcox

Intensive selection to improve vase life was performed on a sample population of Gerber ×hybrida Hort. from a broad source of germplasm. Progeny of a 5 × 5 diallel cross yielded estimates of narrow sense heritability (h2 = 0.28) and broad sense heritability (H2 = 0.28) for vase life based on a mean of 1.96 measurements per plant. Additive gene action is postulated to control this character since the difference between total genotypic variance and additive genetic variance components was small. Repeatability (r = 0.57) based on a single measurement per plant was moderately high. Heritability estimates were also determined based on 1, 2, 3, 5, and ∞ measurements per plant. Heritability ranged from 22% to 39%.

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Su-Jeong Kim*, Chun-Woo Nam, Dong-Lim Yoo, Seung-Yeol Ryu, and Ki-Sun Kim

Iris hollandica `Blue Magic' was treated with deionazed water as a control, 3% sucrose (Suc), 3% sucrose plus 0.4 mm silver thiosulphate (Suc+STS), 3% sucrose plus 200 mg·L-1 8-hydroxyquinoline sulphate (Suc+HQS) and 3% sucrose plus 100 mg·L-1 benzyl amino-purine (Suc+BA) for 4hrs and then transferred to tap water. The vase life treated with Suc+BA was extended 4 days longer than that of control. The treatment Suc+STS or Suc+HQS did not improve vase life. The amounts of water uptake and transpiration by all treatments decreased after harvest, but those values were higher in cut iris treated with Suc+BA than in those with control. Cut flowers treated with by Suc+BA markedly improved water balance, comparing with control which was quickly changed to minus value. Anthocyanin content in petals of cut flower treated with Suc+BA was 3.5 fold higher than that of control. The treatment by Suc+BA delayed discoloration in petals and senescence of cut Iris. Peroxidase (POD) activities of all treatments were reached maximum at 4th day after treatment and decreased thereafter. POD activity was highest when the cut iris was treated with Suc+BA. These results show that the use of Suc+BA is most effective treatment for improving the vase life and quality of cut Iris flowers.

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Hiroshi Wada, Mari Iwaya-Inoue, Mitsuru Akita, and Hiroshi Nonami

Two cultivars of tulip (Tulipa gesneriana L.) were used to check the effect of trehalose-feeding on longevity of vase life. `Oxford' plants were grown from bulbs, and trehalose-fed cut flowers were compared with the intact plants grown in pots. `Pink Diamond' flowers were obtained commercially as cut flowers from the market, and trehalose-feeding was examined by using only flower parts. In both cultivars of plants, it was confirmed that trehalose-feeding enhanced longevity of the vase life significantly at room temperature. Additionally, mechanisms of prolonging the vase life with trehalose-fed flowers were studied by comparing the water status in the zone of elongation of tulip tepals when their growth rates were modified with different treatments. In the elongating region of tulip tepals, cell elongation rates were linearly correlated to sizes of the growth-induced water potential regardless of treatments. It was found that trehalose-feeding reduced the hydraulic conductance, resulting in a decrease in cell elongation rates. Also, trehalose helped to maintain turgor of tepal cells for longer periods. Furthermore, trehalose enhanced pigmentation in tepals, and thus, trehalose is believed to have had a role in altering the metabolism in elongating cells and in reducing hydraulic conductivity in membranes.

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W.G. van Doorn

Placing a daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus L. `Carlton') flower in a vase with a rose (Rosa hybrida L. Sonia) flower reduced water uptake by the rose and resulted in precocious wilting of its leaves and flower and in pedicel bending. These symptoms were also observed when mucilage from daffodil stems was placed in the vase water. The effects of the mucilage and the daffodil stem were overcome by adding 8-hydroxyquinoline (HQC) to the vase solution. HQC inhibits ethylene production and is an antimicrobial compound. Aminoethyoxyvinylglycine (AVG) or silver thiosulfate (STS), inhibitors of ethylene synthesis and action, respectively, did not alleviate the mucilage effects, but sodium hypochlorite, an antimicrobial compound, did. Bacterial counts in the basal 5-cm segment of rose stems increased after placing mucilage or a daffodil stem in the vase water, and counts were reduced by adding HQC or sodium hypochlorite. One daffodil stem also reduced the vase life of tulips (Tulipa gesneriana L. `Frappant' and `Apeldoorn'), which showed precocious leaf yellowing. This was not alleviated by HQC and was also found when mucilage was placed on the leaf surface. Placing mucilage on the leaf produced no effect in roses. Separating the mucilage indicated that the effect in roses is mainly due to the sugar and polysaccharide fraction and the effect in tulips is due to a fraction containing several alkaloids. The results indicate that the decreased vase life of rose flowers, after one daffodil is placed in their vase water, is due to daffodil mucilage, which, in the rose cultivar tested, blocks water uptake, mainly as a result of increased bacterial growth. In the tulip cultivars tested, the negative effect on vase life is primarily due to mucilage toxicity.

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Navjot Kaur and Jiwan P. Palta

Freshly cut snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus L) spikes or carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L cv. White Sim) stems were put in LPE (10 ppm for carnation, 25 ppm for snapdragon) solution for 24 hours and then transferred to deionized water. Parallel controls were kept continuously in deionized water. Snapdragon spikes were harvested when they had one-third of the florets opened which is a standard commercial practice. The carnations used in the experiment were harvested at three different stages of flower development starting from open brush bud stage (Stage IV) to fully opened (Stage VII, petals 45(to the stem) flower. LPE treatment delayed senescence in snapdragon by four days. Furthermore, it enhanced the opening of floral buds and opened all the florets on every spike. LPE treatment also significantly delayed loss in fresh weight of spikes associated with senescence, lowered the endogenous ethylene production and reduced ion leakage from florets. LPE had a similar effect on fresh weight and ion leakage from carnations if it was applied at an early stage of flower opening. Older carnations (Stage VII) were found unresponsive to LPE. In conclusion, LPE has the potential in enhancing the vase life of snapdragons and carnations. Carnations must be harvested at the open brush bud stage for effective LPE application. Our results suggest that LPE is prolonging vase life of cut flowers by reducing ethylene production and maintaining membrane integrity.

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Jong Suk Lee, Young A Kim, and Young Mi Sin

Cut snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus L. cvs. Fujinoyuki, Oakland, and Bismarck) were harvested at three different stages and pulsed with silver thiosulfate (STS). Then, the flowers were treated with several preservative solutions to test the effects on vase life and flower quality. Proper storage methods were also investigated. The best harvesting time of snapdragon was when seven to nine florets were opened in a spike. The flowers harvested at this stage had more fresh weight, increased number of opened flowers per spike, and longer vase life than those harvested at earlier stages. Pulsing with 0.2 mM STS for 16 h improved flower quality and prolonged vase life. The preservative solution containing 2% sucrose + 150 ppm 8-hydroxyquinone citrate (HQC) + 25 ppm AgNO3 prolonged vase life. However, this solution caused longer internode between florets and excessive elongation of spike. The preservative solution containing 2% sucrose + 150 ppm HQC + 25 ppm AgNO3 + 50 ppm daminozide improved flower quality by prolonging vase life, reducing the length of internode between florets, and preventing excessive elongation of spike. The flowers held in 50% 7-Up had 2 times prolonged vase life compared to water control. The flowers held in 4% ethyl alcohol also had prolonged vase life and increased fresh weight. Ethylene caused floret abscission and STS pretreatment prevented this floret abscission. Ethylene production in cut snapdragons maintained 2 to 6 nl/g fresh weight per h during vase life. The prolonging storage at low temperature (1C) shortened vase life. The flowers pretreated with STS, and then held in preservative solution during cold storage, had better flower quality and longer vase life than those in plain water.

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G.L. Roberts, M.J. Tsujita, and B. Dansereau

Rosa ×hybrida `Samantha' plants were grown under high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps, HPS lamps fitted with blue gel filters to reduce the red to far-red (R:FR) ratio, or metal halide lamps. R: FR ratios were 1:0.95, 1:2, and 1:0.26 for HPS; filtered HPS, and metal halide, respectively. Although the R: FR ratio for metal halide was 3.5 times higher than for HPS, the total energy from 630 to 750 nm was 2.8 times lower. At a nighttime supplemental photosynthetic photon flux of 70 to 75 μmol·m-2.s-1, plants under HPS and metal halide lamps produced 49 % and 64% more flowering shoots, respectively, than those under filtered HPS (averaged over two crop cycles). The quality index for flowers under HPS, metal halide, and filtered HPS was 25.0, 23.3, and 18.5, respectively. Vase life was 10 to 11 days, regardless of treatment.