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Philip E. Hammer, S.F. Yang, M.S. Reid and J.J. Marois

The effectiveness of fungistatic atmospheres for postharvest control of Botrytis cinerea Pers. infections on cut rose flowers (Rosa hybrids L.) was investigated. Storing cut `Sonia', `Royalty', and `Gold Rush' roses at 2.5C with 10% CO2 for 5 days, followed by 2 days of cold storage in air, reduced the number of B. cinerea lesions that developed on inoculated and noninoculated flower petals by 77% and 82%, respectively, compared to cold storage for 7 days in air. Higher CO2 concentrations and longer CO2 treatment times reduced disease severity further, but resulted in unacceptable leaf discoloration on some cultivars. No deleterious effects of CO2-enriched storage atmospheres on flower quality, weight gain, or vase life were observed. Storage at 2.5C for 7 days in 2 μl SO2/liter reduced B. cinerea infections on inoculated and noninoculated flowers by 53% and 43%, respectively. No deleterious effects on flower quality, weight gain, or vase life were observed. Higher SO2 levels reduced disease severity further, but caused bleaching of the petal margins and necrosis around leaf wounds.