Effects of hypoxia on respiration and the onset of senescence in cut carnation flowers (Dianthus caryophyllus L.)

Solomos, T.; Gross, K.C.

Postharvest Biology and Technology 10(2): 145-153

1997


ISSN/ISBN: 0925-5214
DOI: 10.1016/s0925-5214(96)01305-1
Accession: 002822624

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Abstract
Cut White Sim-type standard carnation flowers (cv. Elliott's White) were placed in holding solutions in flasks which were held in jars with various gas mixtures. O2 concentrations ranging between 1.62 and 5.01 kPa O2 reduced the rate of CO2 evolution from the cut flowers and delayed the onset of senescence. The suppressive effects of low O2 on respiration could not be ascribed to the restriction of mitochondrial terminal oxidases. An O2 concentration of 2.02 kPa totally suppressed the onset of the climacteric rise in CO2 evolution and increased the vase life of flowers 2-fold over that of flowers treated with silver thiosulfate (STS) in the holding solution, indicating that the retarding effects of hypoxia on the onset of senescence transcend its inhibitory effects on the action of C2H4. Hypoxia diminished the effects of exogenously applied C2H4 on the rate of CO2 evolution and appeared to retard the rate at which the usual morphological symptoms associated with petal senescence occurred. Rapid wilting, concomitant with the climacteric, was a facet of C2H4 action and coincided with a decrease in water uptake. The latter could not be ascribed to the obstruction of vascular bundles but rather to the inability of petals to absorb water. It is suggested that the sudden increase in water loss may be the result of an C2H4-induced increase in hydraulic conductivity of the petals.