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  • Author or Editor: Song Kwon x
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This experiment was undertaken to characterize the physiological changes taking place during the petal senescence of Hibiscus syriacus. Five distinctive developmental stages were chronologically suggested. Flower bud dry weight increased almost linearly from Stage I to Stage IV at a rate of ≈15 mg/day. Fresh weight and fresh/dry weight ratio increased much more rapidly between Stage III and Stage IV than during the early stage of development. It showed that petal expansion was partially due to an increased water uptake. The highest osmolality (411 mmol) was found in the fully open flowers. During the subsequent senescence and collapse of the flower, from Stage IV to Stage V, there were a rapid loss of fresh and dry weight and the fall of fresh/dry weight ratio, corresponding to the wilting that characterizes early senescence. A rise in cell sap osmolality coincided with the increase in soluble sugar content and fresh/dry weight ratio, and with the expansion of Hibiscus syriacus petal. Therefore, buds at Stage III, where they are under physiological maturity, might be appropriate to harvest. Hibiscus syriacus flowers showed a small but respiratory peak at Stage IV. The maximum rate of respiration was obtained with fully open flowers (Stage IV), whereas ethylene production remained extremely low until the petals started to open. Ethylene production, ACC synthase, and ACC content increased as the fresh weight of the flowers started to decline. At Stage V, there were a loss of petal fresh weight and a considerable increase in ethylene production (9 nL/g per h). The results of the present study have shown that petal tissue at Stage IV, presenescent stage, was characterized by the increase of soluble sugar and fresh weight, which might be expected to lead to petal expansion and limit turgidity. ABA and the stomata on petal might promote the disorganization.

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Five distinctive developmental stages were chronologically suggested. Cells at Stage I and II were essentially free of cytoplasmic or vacuolar abnormalities and the cytoplasm contained numerous electron-dense mitochondria with well-developed cristae. At Stage III, there were a localized dilation of mitochondria matrix and a partial-diluted cytoplasm in mesophyll cells. At Stage IV, characterized by high levels of fresh weight and osmolality, most mesophyll cells were seen to be ruptured, resulting in a general mixing of cell contents and diluting cytoplasm. It can be explained as an irreversible senescence phenomena that tonoplast in mesophyll cell was ruptured partly, corresponding to rapid increase in petal cell size and turgidity. Petal turgidity was due to an increase of content in soluble sugar. At Stage V, there was a loss of petal fresh weight. With a loss of turgidity, most mesophyll cells have collapsed completely. There were a notable plasmolysis in vasculature. The activity of protease in petals was found to increase between Stage II and III, and then decreased rapidly at Stage IV, resulting in the decrease of total protein content before senescence. Unexpectedly, there were stomata in hibiscus petals. Ultrastructural disorganization, like as a broken tonoplast, was observed in mesophyll cells at Stage IV. ABA and the stomata on petal might promote the disorganization. The final stages of senescence involved breakdown of cellular organization leading to hydrolysis of previously separated compartments. The cellular disorganization triggered during the flowers are still in the process of opening may be one of the earliest physiological signal that senescence is under way.

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