Postharvest performance of cut rose cv. Lovely Red as affected by osmoprotectant and antitraspirant compounds
In cut flowers, the post-harvest turgor is a critical aspect in a system in which, in the absence of the root system, transpiration water losses must be compensated. Two experiments were conducted in order to elucidate the effect of osmoprotectants (L-Proline) as well as of molecules with antitranspirant behavior (ß-aminobutyric acid - BABA or Pinolene) on the water relations and vase life of rose cut stems. Applications of L-Proline enhanced water fluxes, water conductivity, relative water content and stomatal conductance of rose cut stems in comparison to untreated plants, thus increasing the vase-life of rose cut flowers. BABA treatment reduced the stomatal conductance in rose as well as the daily water consumption, on the other hand senescence phenomena occurred earlier. The water used by pinolene treated stems was lower compared to the control and this was associated with a medium increase of the vase life. Overall, enhanced osmoregulation prolonged the vase life of cut flowers since the improved water status allowed the cut stem to partially continue its metabolic functions. On the other hand, the control of transpirational flux was functional in maintaining cellular turgor in pinolene treated cut stems, whereas with BABA, senescence phenomena occurred probably due to the activation of biochemical pathway of senescence involving abscisic acid. Taking all together, osmoregulation or direct control of transpirational fluxes may provide a promising avenue for improving the post-harvest longevity of cut roses.
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