1. bookVolume 28 (2020): Issue 1 (June 2020)
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2353-3978
First Published
30 Jul 2013
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English
access type Open Access

Effects of Aluminum Sulphate, Ethanol, Sucrose and their Combination on the Longevity and Physiological Properties of Rose (Rosa hybrida L.) Cut Flowers

Published Online: 30 Jun 2020
Volume & Issue: Volume 28 (2020) - Issue 1 (June 2020)
Page range: 29 - 38
Received: 01 Dec 2019
Accepted: 01 May 2020
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2353-3978
First Published
30 Jul 2013
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Cut rose stems were pretreated for 24 h with various compounds before being stored in Chrysal solution. Two experiments were conducted to study the effects of different concentrations of aluminum sulphate, ethanol and sucrose in preservative solutions and their combination on flower longevity and post-harvest physiological properties of rose (Rosa hybrida L.) cut flowers cultivars ‘Red Sky’ and ‘Blizzard’. The first experiment aimed to determine the optimum concentration of aluminum sulphate used as a biocide (0, 0.5, 1, 1.5 g·dm−3), ethanol used as a biocide and anti-ethylene factor (0, 4, 8, 12%) and sucrose used as a source of energy (0, 10, 20, 30 g·dm−3). In the second experiment, the most effective concentrations were cumulated in combinations of pretreatment solutions. Single use of chemicals: 0.5 g·dm−3 aluminum sulphate, 4% ethanol and 20 g·dm−3 sucrose extended the longevity of both cultivars by 17, 18 and 19%, respectively as compared to deionized water. In the second experiment, the preservative solution containing all three chemicals at optimal concentrations extended cut flower longevity by 30% compared to deionized water. ‘Blizzard’ has lost its commercial value by 6.6% of the time earlier than ‘Red Sky’. Generally, using a biocide, anti-ethylene and source of energy in a pretreatment solution can maintain the high quality of the cut rose flowers and their vase life.

Keywords

INTRODUCTION

The Ethiopian flower industry started to emerge in 1992 and became the leading flower exporter in Africa. Flower production is constantly increasing, mainly for export. Ethiopia also encourages the sector to get foreign currency, youth employment and reducing poverty. Rose is the most demand cut flower worldwide and about 90% of the Ethiopian cut flower products are roses (Belwal & Chala 2008). Due to the competitive advantage resulted from government incentives, the proximity of international markets (EU and Middle East), lots of cheap and trained employees and favorable country environments, further development of the flower industry is still expected and stimulated (Gudeta 2012).

Cut flowers have a short vase life. About 20% of fresh flowers lose quality while passing through the market channels and plenty of remaining flowers sold at low-quality conditions dissatisfying the consumer (Mehran et al. 2007). This is mainly due to physiological and pathological problems during postharvest handling. The short vase life of cut flowers is caused by dehydration (Fanourakis et al. 2012), the adverse effects of ethylene (Wu et al. 1992), and blockage of the vessels by air and micro-organisms (Elhindi 2012; Elgimabi 2011; He et al. 2006). Hence, techniques are generally required to reduce microbial build-up and vascular blockage, supply energy source, increase water uptake, and arrest the negative effect of ethylene. Different commercial preparations for prolonging the vase life of cut flowers were developed (Ichimura et al. 2006). They contain silver thiosulfate (STS) as anti-ethylene, 8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate (8-HQS) as germicide and sucrose as a substrate for respiration. However, STS is criticized due to its environmental pollution and health problem (Jowkar et al. 2013a), 8-HQS is expensive to use and results in irritation of skin, eyes and respiratory tract (Anisha & Kumar 2015).

Previous researchers mention two components, sugar and germicide as very important (Asrar 2012; Elhindi 2012). Tsegaw et al. (2011) indicate three important ingredients of solutions to increase vase life: biocide, sugar and acidifier. Others mention ethylene as a longevity and quality factor for cut flowers (Chamani et al. 2005). Many cut flower growers in Ethiopia use 8-HQS as a germicide for all cultivars of cut roses and rarely put energy source and anti-ethylene to the holding solutions. However, it is reported that cultivars of roses have a different, genetic-driven response for preservative solutions (Ichimura et al. 2002).

The use of respiration substrates, anti-ethylene and antimicrobial chemicals with less negative health and environmental impacts have paramount importance to extend the vase life of cut flowers and increase customer satisfaction. The following solutions: aluminum sulfate [Al2(SO4)3] – as a biocide (Tsegaw et al. 2011; Tilahun et al. 2015), ethanol as anti-ethylene (Hajizadeh et al. 2012) and sugar (Asrar 2012; Norikoshi et al. 2016) as energy source used for short treatment before storage were reported as factors extending flower longevity and maintaining the quality of various cut flowers.

The objective of the study was to evaluate the effects of different concentrations of aluminum sulfate, ethanol and sucrose and their combinations used for 24-h pretreatment before being kept in Chrysal 500 on longevity and quality of cut rose flowers ‘Red Sky’ and ‘Blizzard’.

MATERIAL AND METHODS
Study area, experimental treatments, and design

The study was conducted at Herburg Roses Plc, which is part of Ziway Sher Ethiopia, on rose cut flowers that were grown under greenhouse condition. It is located in the Rift valley at a latitude of 7°56′ N and longitude of 38°43′ E. The area has an altitude of 1646 m.a.s.l. and a mean annual rainfall of 750–850 mm. The mean maximum temperature is 28.4 °C and the minimum 14.0 °C.

The study was set in two successive experiments. The first experiment evaluated the effects of different concentrations of Al2(SO4)3 (0.5, 1, 1.5 g·dm−3), sucrose (10, 20, 30 g·dm−3) and ethanol (4, 8 and 12%) and water independently on two cultivars of rose cut flowers ‘Red Sky’ and ‘Blizzard’.

After identifying the best concentration of each chemical, the second experiment designed to evaluate the combined effects of the best concentrations. Therefore, five treatments were set labeled as T1, T2, T3, T4, and T5 for deionized water, Al2(SO4)3 + ethanol, Al2(SO4)3 + sucrose, ethanol + sucrose, Al2(SO4)3 + ethanol + sucrose, respectively for both cultivars. The concentration used for Al2(SO4)3 was 0.5 g·dm−3, for ethanol was 4% and for sucrose was 20 g·dm−3.

Experimental procedures

Flower stems of ‘Red Sky’ and ‘Blizzard’ with red and white colors respectively, were cut from second-order emerged shoots early in the morning. Flower stems of 55±3 cm were harvested at typical harvest maturity when the buds were tight and sepals enclosed in the floral bud (De Capdeville et al. 2005). A day before the harvest, the plants were irrigated (Gebremedhin et al. 2013). Stems were transferred immediately to experimental solutions and kept at 3±1 °C for 24 h. Preservative solutions were prepared using deionized water and pH was adjusted to 3.5–4.5 with citric acid, except for Al2(SO4)3 solutions that were adjusted to a pH of 3.5 with potassium hydroxide. The bottom of flower stems were cut diagonally (2 cm) using a sharp cut knife prior to immersing. The prepared cut rose stems were placed in glass jars with 300 ml volume keeping the bottom of the flower stem completely immersed.

The experimental stems (10 per each treatment) were subdivided into two groups for destructive (4 stems) and non-destructive (6 stems) sampling. After treatment with preservative solutions, the lowermost leaves were trimmed off to the height of 15 cm and stems were re-cut to the length of 48 cm. After that, the flower stems were transferred to flower commercial preservative preparation Chrysal 500 at a concentration of 10 g·dm−3 until the completion of the experiment and maintained in vase testing room at 25±1 °C with 12 h of photoperiod using cool–white fluorescent lamps.

Flower longevity (FL). Decision about termination of vase life was made on the base of following parameters: visible wilting of the flowers, abscission or yellowing of more than 50% of the leaves, neck bending, abscission of more than two petals (VBN 2005). Hence, in this experiment, vase life was expressed as the number of days until the above features occur.

Flower head diameter (FHD) was measured using Vernier caliper (cm) at the end of the vase life day of the control flower (van Doorn & de Witte 1991).

Solution turbidity as microbial growth assessment (ST) was measured using a spectrophotometer (JENWAY 6300) at 400, 500 and 600 nm (Knee 2000) at the 12th day of the experiment using distilled water as a blank.

Water content ratio (WCR, g) – a dry weight of six outer petals dried to constant weight in an oven for at least 48 hours at 70 °C and calculated as described by Jones et al. (1993).

Watercontent=freshweightdryweightdryweight{\rm{Water}}\;{\rm{content}} = {{{\rm{fresh}}\;{\rm{weight}} - {\rm{dry}}\;{\rm{weight}}} \over {{\rm{dry}}\;{\rm{weight}}}}

Vase solution uptake (VSU) was evaluated at the 16th day by subtracting the volume of water evaporated from a flask of the same volume without cut flower. The water loss volume was calculated by subtracting the increase in fresh weight from the water uptake volume. Su=Su(t1)StFWt0(Chamanietal.2005),{\rm{Su}} = {{{\rm{Su}}({\rm{t}} - 1) - {\rm{St}}} \over {{\rm{FW}}{{\rm{t}}_0}}}({\rm{Chamani}}\;{\rm{et}}\;{\rm{al}}.\;2005), where: Su – vase solution uptake (ml·day−1·g fresh weight−1); Su(t-1) – solution weight (g) of the control; St – solution weight (g) at t – 1, 2, 3 days and so on; FWt0 – fresh weight of the stem (g) on day 0.

Relative fresh weight (RFW) was obtained by weighing stems before their immersion into the solutions and repeated every three days until the vase life of the control flowers were terminated. Flowers were taken out of solutions for as short time as possible (20–30 s). The fresh weight of each flower was expressed relative to the initial weight to represent the percentage of weight losses for all cut flowers tested (Joyce & Jones 1992). RFW=FWtFWo×100,{\rm{RFW}} = {{{\rm{FWt}}} \over {{\rm{FWo}}}} \times 100, where: FWt – final weight of stem at different days (t), FWo – initial fresh weight and RFW – relative fresh weight.

Data analysis

Data analysis was made using the SAS statistical package (SAS Institute 2003). Both experiments were set following a completely randomized design. Each experiment was repeated twice and the average values were used for the analysis. Mean comparisons were made using the least significant difference (LSD) at p = 0.05.

RESULT AND DISCUSSION
Flower longevity

Results indicated that used separately Al2(SO4)3, ethanol and sucrose, as well as combined preservative solutions, had a significant effect on flower longevity of rose cultivars (Table 1 & Fig. 1). ‘Red Sky’ was characterized with significantly longer vase life than ‘Blizzard’, except when it was treated with ethanol. However, an interaction between cultivars and different concentrations of Al2(SO4)3, sucrose and ethanol as well as their combined use did not show significant (p > 0.05).

Effects of different concentration of Al2(SO4)3, ethanol, and sucrose on flower longevity (FL), flower head diameter (FHD), solution turbidity (ST), and water content ratio of the rose cut flowers

FactorsTreatmentFL (days)FHD (cm)STWater content ratio (g·g−1)
Vase life (days)
1st4th8th12th
Al2 (SO4)3water12.00b7.000.07a6.825.79b4.02b3.12b
0.5 g·dm−314.50a6.980.05b7.897.03a5.63a4.50a
1.0 g·dm−313.00b7.150.05b7.896.49a4.56b3.52b
1.5 g·dm−312.00b6.550.04b7.825.08c4.14b3.26b
LSD0.051.170ns0.01ns0.540.550.69
Cultivar‘Red Sky’13.67a6.41b0.058.20a6.36a4.343.86a
‘Blizzard’12.08b7.43a0.057.01b5.84b4.443.34b
LSD(0.05)0.830.25ns0.780.38ns0.49
Al2 (SO4)3 × cultivar interactionnsnsnsnsnsnsns
CV (%)7.49.318.812.07.349.815.9
Ethanolwater12.00c7.00c0.07a6.82b5.79bc4.02b3.12b
4%14.67a7.93a0.06b8.63a6.96a6.04a4.57a
8%13.50b7.47b0.05b8.44a6.22ab5.00ab3.21b
12%13.00bc7.26bc0.05b6.90b5.07c4.08b3.19b
LSD0.051.030.410.010.930.861.160.79
Cultivar‘Red Sky’13.926.66b0.067.776.264.953.89a
‘Blizzard’12.678.17a0.067.625.774.623.15b
LSD0.05ns0.29nsnsnsns0.56
Ethanol × cultivar interactionnsnsnsnsnsnsns
CV (%)6.34.69.49.911.819.818.5
Sucrosewater12.00c7.00b0.07c6.82b5.79b4.02b3.12b
10 g·dm−313.50b7.60a0.07bc7.83ab6.33ab4.60ab3.55ab
20 g·dm−314.83a8.09a0.08ab8.16a6.67ab5.39a4.21a
30 g·dm−313.33b8.19a0.09a8.36a7.26a4.60a3.25b
LSD0.051.190.600.0171.090.960.860.89
Cultivar‘Red Sky’13.91a7.19b0.08a8.117.22a5.22a3.99a
‘Blizzard’12.92b8.26a0.07b7.485.81b4.26b3.07b
LSD0.050.840.420.005ns0.670.620.63
Sucrose × cultivar interactionnsnsnsnsnsnsns
CV (%)7.36.47.811.412.014.920.7

Means in each column followed by the same letters are not significantly different at p = 0.05 for each factor; CV – coefficient of variance

Fig. 1

Effects of different solutions used for 24-h treatment (A) and cultivars (B) on flower head diameter (FHD) and flower longevity. Means that do not differ significantly from each other at the p = 0.05 are illustrated with the same letter on the bar graph

Al2(SO4)3 at a concentration of 0.5 g·dm−3 extended the vase life of cut flower by 21% compared to distilled water (Table 1). Generally, with increasing concentration of Al2(SO4)3, vase life decreased progressively. According to Jowkar et al. (2013b) Al2(SO4)3 maintains membrane permeability, increases chlorophyll content and freshness of flowers and leaves of roses. De Witte et al. (2014) reported that stem bending of gerbera hastens at a high concentration of antimicrobial compounds. In the case of the ethanol, the longest vase life of cut flowers was obtained at a concentration of 4%. Consistently, Podd and Van Staden (2002) found that vase life of cut flowers of carnation increased at a low concentration of ethanol. Flowers in control treatments have aged 2.7 and 1.5 days earlier than flowers treated with 4% and 8% ethanol, respectively. Similarly, Wu et al. (1992) proved that pre-treatment with ethanol reduced the evolution of ethylene, reduced accumulation of ACC and completely inhibited the activity of ACC oxidase in carnation cut flower.

Sucrose with a dose of 20 g·dm−3 resulted in the highest flower longevity by almost 3 days compared with control (Table 1). Higher (30 g·dm−3) and lower (10 g·dm−3) concentrations extended flower longevity twice less. Kumar et al. (2008) underlined that petal senescence of roses could result from sugar starvation or sugar accumulation. Sucrose acts in roses as a source of nutrition for tissues approaching carbohydrate starvation, flower opening and subsequent water relations which results in extending flower longevity (Kuiper et al. 1995). Maintaining of osmotic potential is important for extending vase life. Cut flowers of ‘Red Sky’ had shown longer vase life compared to ‘Blizzard’ when treated with Al2(SO4)3, sucrose and their combination. Varied flower longevity could be due to different response for both 24-h pretreatment with preservative solutions and genetic status (Ichimura et al. 2002).

Flower longevity as evaluated across two cultivars treated with combined solutions T5, T3, T4, and T2 was extended to 17.7, 16.1, 16 and 15.5 days, respectively as compared to T1, which was 12 days only (Fig. 1A). Al2(SO4)3 was used as a biocide (Tsegaw et al. 2011), ethanol decreases ethylene production (Wu et al. 1992) and sucrose may provide the energy needed to cell function that can have a positive influence for extending the vase life. Cut flowers of ‘Red Sky’ evaluated across treatments finished their marketable life one day after ‘Blizzard’ (Fig. 1B). Generally, biocide, anti-ethylene and energy sources can be used for extension of cut flower vase life for both cultivars.

Flower head diameter (FHD)

Ethanol and sucrose significantly (p < 0.01) influenced the FHD of cut roses (Table 1). The best effect was obtained with 4% ethanol and 30 g·dm−3 sucrose. The combined effects of preservative solutions were significant (p < 0.001) for FHD (Fig. 1). The most effective was combination T4 (ethanol + sucrose) and T5 (all three components). The double advantage of reducing microbial load and reducing ethylene production might help to enhance the flower opening. The addition of sucrose increased FHD comparing with control. Van Doorn and de Witte (1991) reported that the flower opening of cut roses depends on the carbohydrate content in petals. In addition, Norikoshi et al. (2016) confirmed that sucrose promotes cell expansion and petals markedly curved outward. However, good flower opening does not guarantee to extend flower longevity. Knee (2000) stated that sugar encourages the multiplication of bacteria, which eventually block xylem vessels.

FHD were significantly (p < 0.05) lowest in control compared to the other treatments (Fig. 1 A). Ichimura et al. (2005) reported variation in FHD among rose cultivars. Good flower bud expansion in solutions containing sucrose may be due to turgor pressure maintenance. A combination of sugar and germicide promotes petal growth of Antirrhinum (Asrar 2012) and rose (Norikoshi et al. 2016). Therefore, flower opening can be enhanced using germicides and sugars together in concentrations depending on cultivar.

Solution turbidity (ST)

Effects of different concentrations of Al2(SO4)3, ethanol, sucrose and their combinations showed significant (p < 0.05) effects on ST. Nevertheless, interaction effects between cultivar and concentration were non-significant, except for 30 g·dm−3 sucrose (Table 1). Taking the measurements on day 12th, the interaction effects of combined preservative treatments and cultivars were significant (p < 0.05) for ST (Table 2).

Effects of 24-h treatment with different solutions and cultivars on solution turbidity and solution uptake

CultivarsSolution turbidity (on day 12th)Solution uptake (on day 16th)
24-h solutions treatments
T1T2T3T4T5T1T2T3T4T5
‘Red Sky’0.08a0.05de0.06cd0.068bc0.047e0.23c0.23c0.27ab0.29a
‘Blizzard’0.07ab0.05de0.07ab0.065bc0.053de0.16e0.19d0.16e0.27ab
LSD0.060.02
p-values of PS × cultivar interaction0.0030.004
CV158.5

Means followed by the same letters are not significantly different at the p = 0.05, – no data since vase life ended on the 12th day

Flowers not treated with preservative solutions showed the highest values of ST and the lowest value was recorded in cut flowers treated with all three components (Table 2). The low turbidity of vase solution may be due to the biocidal and disinfectant properties of Al2(SO4)3 and ethanol, suppressing microbial development. Both cultivars had shown similar solution clarity under different concentrations of Al2(SO4)3 and ethanol. Conversely, the addition of sucrose only to the vase solution of flowers increased the ST and the highest value was obtained at the 30 g·dm−3 sucrose (Table 1). It is in harmony with the results of Knee (2000).

Water content ratio (WCR)

Results depicted that applications of different concentrations of chemicals and their combinations had significant (p < 0.05) effects on WCR. ‘Red Sky’ plants showed significantly (p < 0.01) higher WCR compared to ‘Blizzard’. Interaction effects of different concentrations and combinations of chemicals with cultivars were non-significantly different (p < 0.05) for WCR in all terms (Table 1). On 8th and 12th day, the highest WCR in petals was recorded in flowers treated with 0.5 g·dm−3 Al2(SO4)3, 4% of ethanol and 20 g·dm−3 sucrose. ‘Red Sky’ plants showed significantly higher water content ratio compared to ‘Blizzard’. The lowest water content was recorded in control treatment compared to sucrose solutions. Generally, WCR progressively decreases over time until the end of the experiment. It was in accordance with Hajizadeh et al. (2012). The highest WCR showed shoots at T5 treatment (Table 3), which indicates the important role of all three components in preservative solution due to balancing the osmotic relation and reducing tissue drying. ‘Blizzard’ plants had shown significantly lower water content compared to ‘Red Sky’ on 1st, 8th and 12th day of experiment (Table 3). Maintaining optimal water balance is a fundamental objective of cut flower handling (Kumar et al. 2008).

Effects of 24-h treatment with different solutions and cultivars on water content ratio (g·g−1) in outer petals

FactorsCombinationsDays of experiment
1481216
SolutionsT15.9c5.1c4.1c3.3c
T27.5ab6.9b5.6ab5.3b3.7b
T37.4ab6.5b5.2b4.9b3.8b
T47.2b6.5b5.2b5.7b3.8b
T58.3a8.1a6.2a6.8a4.5a
LSD0.0511.10.910.5
Cultivars‘Red Sky’7.8a7.25.7a5.7a4.1
‘Blizzard’6.7b6.04.8b4.7b3.9
LSD0.050.6ns0.60.6ns
Solution × cultivar interactionnsnsnsnsns
CV (%)11.814.51516.210.9

Means followed by the same letters are not significantly different at the p = 0.05, – no data since vase life ended on the 12th day

Vase solution uptake (VSU)

Different concentrations of Al2(SO4)3, ethanol and sucrose had resulted in significantly (p < 0.05) different solution uptake. However, the interaction effect of all concentrations of individually applied chemicals with cultivars had no significant (p > 0.05) effect on solution uptake (Table 4). Combined effects of used components were statistically significant for solution uptake on the 4th, 8th, and 12th day of experiment (Fig. 2A). The highest uptake for all three terms of measurement was in the treatment T5. The differences were especially visible on the 12th day. However, the interaction of combined chemicals and cultivars was significant only on the 16th vase life day (Table 2).

Fig. 2

Effects of different preservative solutions on solution uptake (A) and relative fresh weight (B) of rose cut flowers. Means that do not differ significantly from each other at the p = 0.05 are illustrated with the same letter on the bar graph

Effects of different concentrations of Al2(SO4)3, ethanol and sucrose on solution uptake and relative fresh weight of cut flowers of rose cultivars

FactorsTreatmentVase solution uptake (ml·day−1·g−1)Relative fresh weight (%)
day of experiment
1st4th8th12th1st4th8th12th
Al2(SO4)3Water0.310.24b0.21b0.20b101.7991.12b83.87b67.86c
0.5 g·dm−30.400.30a0.28a0.25a109.01100.72a93.86a83.55a
1 g·dm−30.380.28ab0.23b0.21b104.3491.88b86.27b76.27b
1.5 g·dm−30.370.24b0.21b0.20b101.9590.78b82.19b69.56c
LSD0.05ns0.050.040.04ns6.486.876.26
Cultivars‘Red Sky’0.380.260.230.21103.4494.0385.5275.27
‘Blizzard’0.350.270.240.22105.1193.1687.5873.38
LSD0.05nsnsnsnsnsnsnsns
Al2(SO4)3 × cultivar interactionnsnsnsnsnsnsnsns
CV11.615.517.215.26.95.76.56. 9
EthanolWater0.31b0.24b0.21c0.20b101.7891.02b83.87b67.86c
4%0.39a0.31a0.29a0.27a108.14102.04a97.76a82.60a
8%0.37a0.28a0.26ab0.25a104.4298.76a93.11a74.92b
12%0.37a0.23a0.22c0.20b107.7098.42a92.85a75.16b
LSD0.050.040.040.040.04ns6.687.836.87
Cultivars‘Red Sky’0.360.270.240.23107.1097.2191.5375.15
‘Blizzard’0.350.290.250.23103.9297.9192.2675.12
LSD0.05nsnsnsnsnsnsnsns
Ethanol × cultivar interactionnsnsnsnsnsnsnsns
CV8.713.714.616.46.95.67.07.5
SucroseWater0.31b0.24c0.21b0.20ab88.96b79.12b75.99b68.31c
10 g·dm−30.40a0.32b0.26a0.23a116.76a105.16a89.62b81.40b
20 g·dm−30.41a0.35a0.25a0.23a110.28a103.81a107.26a93.91a
30 g·dm−30.42a0.35a0.24a0.17b110.29a105.28a109.80a97.44a
LSD0.050.030.030.030.046.848.1915.7511.72
Cultivars‘Red Sky’0.41a0.310.230.21104.63100.3997.6486.18
‘Blizzard’0.30b0.310.240.21108.5296.2993.7084.35
LSD0.050.02nsnsnsnsnsnsns
Sucrose × cultivar interactionnsnsnsnsnsnsnsns
CV8.58.310.815.55.26.813.511.2

Means in each column followed by the same letters are not significantly different at the p = 0.05 for each factor

In the current results, the enhancement of solution uptake was associated with specific concentrations. The most optimal were 0.5 g·dm−3 aluminum sulfate, 4% of ethanol and 10 g·dm−3 sucrose (Table 4). Generally, solution uptake decreased with prolonging of storage that could be due to air embolism of cut stem, a proliferation of microbes, and plant reaction to wounding (Tsegaw et al. 2011).

Solution uptake and transpiration rates determine the vase life termination of cut flowers (van Doorn & de Witte 1991). Similarly, vascular blockage in the lowermost segment of the stem can result in lower water potential and low transpiration stream so that loss turgidity. Therefore, the use of biocides reduces stem plugging (de Witte et al. 2014; Asrar 2012; van Doorn & de Witte 1991). Phytotoxic effects of some biocides can also shorten the vase life of roses (de Witte et al. 2014; Knee 2000), therefore determining appropriate concentration is vital.

Relative fresh weight (RFW)

RFW decreased with time of storage in both cultivars (Table 4, Fig. 2B). The concentrations of Al2(SO4)3, ethanol and sucrose had significant (p < 0.05) effects on RFW on the 4th, 8th and 12th day of the experiment (Table 4). Optimum concentrations for RFW were generally the same as for solution uptakes, but also the highest values were scored at higher concentrations of ethanol and sucrose. Reduction in RFW loss could be the result of the anti-microbial property of ethanol and Al2(SO4)3 that reduces the microbial proliferation in the storage solutions and basal parts of the stems and increases the hydraulic conductance.

Referred here our results concerning RFW are in agreement with those of Ichimura et al. (2002) that observed that RFW loss was delayed in ‘Noblesse’ and ‘Sonia’ cultivars when treated with sucrose. Norikoshi et al. (2016) reported that sucrose treatment increased the volume of the vacuole, cell wall and air space in cut rose flowers. All pre-treatments affected significantly (p < 0.05) RFW of both cultivars comparing with control (Fig. 2B) and no differences between cultivars were found across treatments (Fig. 3B). Combinations of the three chemicals (T5) at optimal concentrations shown the highest RFW.

Fig. 3

Effects of different preservative solutions on solution uptake (A) and relative fresh weight (B) of rose cut flowers. Means that do not differ significantly from each other at the p = 0.05 are illustrated with the same letter on the bar graph

CONCLUSION

24-hours treatment of rose stems with one of the following preservative chemicals: 0.5 g·dm−3 Al2(SO4)3, 4% ethanol or 20 g·dm−3 sucrose as a single and in combined solution were the most effective for extending the vase life of cut rose cultivars ‘Red Sky’ and ‘Blizzard’. As a single, they increased stems’ longevity by 2.5 to 2.8 days as compared to the control (distillate water) and by 5.7 days when used in a combined solution. Such a composition of the preservative solution resulted in the highest solution uptake and water content in petals. The longevity of ‘Red Sky’ was greater than ‘Blizzard’.

Fig. 1

Effects of different solutions used for 24-h treatment (A) and cultivars (B) on flower head diameter (FHD) and flower longevity. Means that do not differ significantly from each other at the p = 0.05 are illustrated with the same letter on the bar graph
Effects of different solutions used for 24-h treatment (A) and cultivars (B) on flower head diameter (FHD) and flower longevity. Means that do not differ significantly from each other at the p = 0.05 are illustrated with the same letter on the bar graph

Fig. 2

Effects of different preservative solutions on solution uptake (A) and relative fresh weight (B) of rose cut flowers. Means that do not differ significantly from each other at the p = 0.05 are illustrated with the same letter on the bar graph
Effects of different preservative solutions on solution uptake (A) and relative fresh weight (B) of rose cut flowers. Means that do not differ significantly from each other at the p = 0.05 are illustrated with the same letter on the bar graph

Fig. 3

Effects of different preservative solutions on solution uptake (A) and relative fresh weight (B) of rose cut flowers. Means that do not differ significantly from each other at the p = 0.05 are illustrated with the same letter on the bar graph
Effects of different preservative solutions on solution uptake (A) and relative fresh weight (B) of rose cut flowers. Means that do not differ significantly from each other at the p = 0.05 are illustrated with the same letter on the bar graph

Effects of different concentration of Al2(SO4)3, ethanol, and sucrose on flower longevity (FL), flower head diameter (FHD), solution turbidity (ST), and water content ratio of the rose cut flowers

FactorsTreatmentFL (days)FHD (cm)STWater content ratio (g·g−1)
Vase life (days)
1st4th8th12th
Al2 (SO4)3water12.00b7.000.07a6.825.79b4.02b3.12b
0.5 g·dm−314.50a6.980.05b7.897.03a5.63a4.50a
1.0 g·dm−313.00b7.150.05b7.896.49a4.56b3.52b
1.5 g·dm−312.00b6.550.04b7.825.08c4.14b3.26b
LSD0.051.170ns0.01ns0.540.550.69
Cultivar‘Red Sky’13.67a6.41b0.058.20a6.36a4.343.86a
‘Blizzard’12.08b7.43a0.057.01b5.84b4.443.34b
LSD(0.05)0.830.25ns0.780.38ns0.49
Al2 (SO4)3 × cultivar interactionnsnsnsnsnsnsns
CV (%)7.49.318.812.07.349.815.9
Ethanolwater12.00c7.00c0.07a6.82b5.79bc4.02b3.12b
4%14.67a7.93a0.06b8.63a6.96a6.04a4.57a
8%13.50b7.47b0.05b8.44a6.22ab5.00ab3.21b
12%13.00bc7.26bc0.05b6.90b5.07c4.08b3.19b
LSD0.051.030.410.010.930.861.160.79
Cultivar‘Red Sky’13.926.66b0.067.776.264.953.89a
‘Blizzard’12.678.17a0.067.625.774.623.15b
LSD0.05ns0.29nsnsnsns0.56
Ethanol × cultivar interactionnsnsnsnsnsnsns
CV (%)6.34.69.49.911.819.818.5
Sucrosewater12.00c7.00b0.07c6.82b5.79b4.02b3.12b
10 g·dm−313.50b7.60a0.07bc7.83ab6.33ab4.60ab3.55ab
20 g·dm−314.83a8.09a0.08ab8.16a6.67ab5.39a4.21a
30 g·dm−313.33b8.19a0.09a8.36a7.26a4.60a3.25b
LSD0.051.190.600.0171.090.960.860.89
Cultivar‘Red Sky’13.91a7.19b0.08a8.117.22a5.22a3.99a
‘Blizzard’12.92b8.26a0.07b7.485.81b4.26b3.07b
LSD0.050.840.420.005ns0.670.620.63
Sucrose × cultivar interactionnsnsnsnsnsnsns
CV (%)7.36.47.811.412.014.920.7

Effects of 24-h treatment with different solutions and cultivars on solution turbidity and solution uptake

CultivarsSolution turbidity (on day 12th)Solution uptake (on day 16th)
24-h solutions treatments
T1T2T3T4T5T1T2T3T4T5
‘Red Sky’0.08a0.05de0.06cd0.068bc0.047e0.23c0.23c0.27ab0.29a
‘Blizzard’0.07ab0.05de0.07ab0.065bc0.053de0.16e0.19d0.16e0.27ab
LSD0.060.02
p-values of PS × cultivar interaction0.0030.004
CV158.5

Effects of different concentrations of Al2(SO4)3, ethanol and sucrose on solution uptake and relative fresh weight of cut flowers of rose cultivars

FactorsTreatmentVase solution uptake (ml·day−1·g−1)Relative fresh weight (%)
day of experiment
1st4th8th12th1st4th8th12th
Al2(SO4)3Water0.310.24b0.21b0.20b101.7991.12b83.87b67.86c
0.5 g·dm−30.400.30a0.28a0.25a109.01100.72a93.86a83.55a
1 g·dm−30.380.28ab0.23b0.21b104.3491.88b86.27b76.27b
1.5 g·dm−30.370.24b0.21b0.20b101.9590.78b82.19b69.56c
LSD0.05ns0.050.040.04ns6.486.876.26
Cultivars‘Red Sky’0.380.260.230.21103.4494.0385.5275.27
‘Blizzard’0.350.270.240.22105.1193.1687.5873.38
LSD0.05nsnsnsnsnsnsnsns
Al2(SO4)3 × cultivar interactionnsnsnsnsnsnsnsns
CV11.615.517.215.26.95.76.56. 9
EthanolWater0.31b0.24b0.21c0.20b101.7891.02b83.87b67.86c
4%0.39a0.31a0.29a0.27a108.14102.04a97.76a82.60a
8%0.37a0.28a0.26ab0.25a104.4298.76a93.11a74.92b
12%0.37a0.23a0.22c0.20b107.7098.42a92.85a75.16b
LSD0.050.040.040.040.04ns6.687.836.87
Cultivars‘Red Sky’0.360.270.240.23107.1097.2191.5375.15
‘Blizzard’0.350.290.250.23103.9297.9192.2675.12
LSD0.05nsnsnsnsnsnsnsns
Ethanol × cultivar interactionnsnsnsnsnsnsnsns
CV8.713.714.616.46.95.67.07.5
SucroseWater0.31b0.24c0.21b0.20ab88.96b79.12b75.99b68.31c
10 g·dm−30.40a0.32b0.26a0.23a116.76a105.16a89.62b81.40b
20 g·dm−30.41a0.35a0.25a0.23a110.28a103.81a107.26a93.91a
30 g·dm−30.42a0.35a0.24a0.17b110.29a105.28a109.80a97.44a
LSD0.050.030.030.030.046.848.1915.7511.72
Cultivars‘Red Sky’0.41a0.310.230.21104.63100.3997.6486.18
‘Blizzard’0.30b0.310.240.21108.5296.2993.7084.35
LSD0.050.02nsnsnsnsnsnsns
Sucrose × cultivar interactionnsnsnsnsnsnsnsns
CV8.58.310.815.55.26.813.511.2

Effects of 24-h treatment with different solutions and cultivars on water content ratio (g·g−1) in outer petals

FactorsCombinationsDays of experiment
1481216
SolutionsT15.9c5.1c4.1c3.3c
T27.5ab6.9b5.6ab5.3b3.7b
T37.4ab6.5b5.2b4.9b3.8b
T47.2b6.5b5.2b5.7b3.8b
T58.3a8.1a6.2a6.8a4.5a
LSD0.0511.10.910.5
Cultivars‘Red Sky’7.8a7.25.7a5.7a4.1
‘Blizzard’6.7b6.04.8b4.7b3.9
LSD0.050.6ns0.60.6ns
Solution × cultivar interactionnsnsnsnsns
CV (%)11.814.51516.210.9

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