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Ai-Yu Chang, Mark L. Gleason, Nancy H. Agnew, Dennis G. Olson and Richard T. Gladon

Irradiated cut Rosa × hybrida `Royalty' flowers were used to determine the efficacy of electron-beam irradiation for extending flower postharvest life by reducing native and inoculated populations of Botrytis cinerea. In preliminary experiments, roses received irradiation dosages of 0.00, 0.50,1.00, 2.00, and 4.00 kilogray (kGy), along with an untreated control, to establish killing dosages. Irradiation dosages of 1.00 kGy or greater irreversibly damaged rose petal tissue. In subsequent experiments, roses irradiated at dosages of 0.00, 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, and 1.00 kGy, and an untreated control, were used for evaluating postharvest events. We have found that irradiation dosages of 0.25 and 0.50 kGy slowed the rate of flower bud opening slightly and did not decrease postharvest quality or longevity. Inoculated and uninoculated roses irradiated at 0.00, 0.25, 0.50, and 0.75 kGy were used to determine if electron-beam irradiation could reduce Botrytis infection and proliferation during postharvest storage, and these results also will be presented.

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Ai-Yu Chang, Richard J. Gladon, Mark L. Gleason, Sharon K. Parker, Nancy H. Agnew and Dennis G. Olson

Cut Rosa ×hybrida L. `Royalty' flowers were used to determine the efficacy of electron-beam irradiation for increasing postharvest quality and decreasing petal infection by Botrytis cinerea Pers. In an experiment for determining the injury threshold, roses received electron-beam irradiation of 0, 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kGy. Irradiation dosages ≥1 kGy caused necrosis on petal tissue and decreased postharvest life at 20 °C. In a second experiment to evaluate postharvest quality, roses were irradiated at 0, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, and 1 kGy. Dosages of 0.25 and 0.5 kGy slowed the rate of flower bud opening for 2 days but did not decrease postharvest quality when compared with nonirradiated roses. Roses that received irradiation dosages of 0.75 and 1 kGy showed unacceptable quality. In a third experiment, roses that had or had not been inoculated with B. cinerea were irradiated at 0, 0.25, 0.5, and 0.75 kGy. Irradiation did not control B. cinerea populations, and rose quality decreased as dosage increased. In a fourth experiment to determine the effect of irradiation on B. cinerea, conidia on water-agar plates exposed to dosages ≤1, 2, and 4 kGy germinated at rates of ≈90%, 33%, and 2%, respectively, within 24 h.