The interactions of ancymidol drenches, postgreenhouse cold storage, and hormone sprays on postharvest leaf chlorosis and flower longevity of `Nellie White' Easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum Thunb.) were investigated. Ancymidol drenches (0.5 mg/plant twice) during early growth resulted in leaf chlorosis in the greenhouse which intensified further during postharvest. Cold storage (4 °C) of puffy bud stage plants for 2 weeks also accelerated leaf chlorosis. The combination of ancymidol treatment with cold storage resulted in the most severe leaf chlorosis. Promalin (GA4+7 and BA each at 100 mg·L-1) sprays completely prevented postharvest leaf chlorosis, whereas ProGibb (GA3 at 1000 mg·L-1) was ineffective. Cold storage reduced flower longevity and increased bud abortion, however, the degree of bud abortion varied among experiments in different years. Both ProGibb and Promalin sprays increased flower longevity. Compared to positive DIF (difference between day and night temperature) grown plants, forcing under negative DIF (-8 °C) increased the severity of postharvest leaf chlorosis. Leaves were sampled from basal, middle, and upper sections of the stem after 4 and 12 days in a postharvest evaluation room, and analyzed for soluble carbohydrates and N. Total leaf soluble carbohydrates and N concentrations were less in basal and middle sections of negative DIF-grown plants than in positive DIF-grown plants. Leaf chlorosis was associated with depletion of soluble carbohydrates and N in the leaves. Chemical names used: α-cyclopropyl-α-(p-methoxyphenyl)-5-pyrimidinemethanol (ancymidol); gibberellic acid (GA3); gibberellins A4A7 (GA4+7); N-(phenylmethyl)-1H-purine 6-amine (benzyladenine).
Case-cooled bulbs of Lilium longiflorum `Nellie White' were forced to flowering. When the tepals on the first primary flower bud split, plants were placed at 2 °C in the dark for 0, 4, or 21 days. After storage, plants were placed in a postharvest evaluation room with constant 21 °C and 18 μmol·m-2·-1 cool-white fluorescent light. Lower leaves, upper leaves, and tepals of the first primary flower from a concurrent set of plants were harvested for carbohydrate analysis using HPLC. Storage time did not affect carbohydrate levels in the lower leaf or tepal samples, but sucrose and starch levels decreased while glucose and fructose levels increased in the upper leaf tissue with increasing storage time. These changes were correlated with a decrease in postharvest longevity for the first four primary flowers. Longevity of the fifth primary flower and total postharvest life of the five primary flowers was unaffected by storage.
We evaluated preplant bulb dips in three commercial plant growth retardants [ancymidol (A-Rest), paclobutrazol (Bonzi), and uniconazole (Sumagic)] for height control in seven oriental hybrid lily (Lilium) cultivars (Aubade, Berlin, Casa Blanca, Muscadet, Sissi, Star Gazer, and Tom Pouce), and seven LA-hybrid lily [hybrids resulting from crosses between easter lily (Lilium longiflorum) and Asiatic hybrids] cultivars (Aladdin's Dazzle, Best Seller, Cebeco Dazzle, Royal Dream, Royal Parade, Royal Perfume, and Salmon Classic) grown in containers. A 1-min dip into a range of concentrations of each product was used to determine the optimum concentrations for height control. The results indicate that bulb dips, especially with uniconazole and paclobutrazol, can be a highly effective means of height control in hybrid lilies. Cultivars varied in their response to growth retardant treatments. In general, LA-hybrid lilies were much more responsive to the growth retardant treatments than oriental hybrids and required lower rates for comparable height control. Delays in flowering, increased bud abortion and leaf yellowing were observed only with high concentrations of uniconazole or paclobutrazol where the height reduction was also too excessive for a commercially acceptable crop.
Ornamental geophytes comprise a large and diverse group of plants characterized by underground storage organs that serve the obvious function of reserve storage and subsequent supply during early stages of shoot growth. Relative to many agronomic and horticultural crops, the fundamental physiological bases of carbon metabolism, partitioning, and utilization in geophytes are unclear. One reason is diversity in organ morphology (bulb, corm, tuber, root, rhizome, etc.), storage carbohydrate (starch, fructan, glucomannan, etc.), and growth habit (e.g., synanthous vs. hysteranthous flowering). Knowledge of factors that control accumulation and mobilization of carbohydrate reserves may lead to manipulations that considerably improve the quality and culture of these crops. We are utilizing a variety of techniques and experimental systems to study selected internal and external controls or influences on geophyte carbohydrate metabolism and partitioning. Specific examples to be discussed include bulb storage temperature effects on starch and fructan metabolism in Tulipa, effects of carbon source and dormancy breaking treatments on starch and glucomannan metabolism in in vitro-grown Lilium bulblets, photoperiod control of fructan accumulation in Dahlia seedlings, and biochemical and molecular features of soluble and wall-bound invertases in developing Lilium longiflorum flower buds.