Ethanol and citric acid improve longevity in Gerbera cv. Mistique

Rúbia Kécia Marins Maia, Edivan Amaro da Silva, Rafael Mateus Alves, Maria Aparecida dos Santos Morais, Marcos Ribeiro da Silva Vieira, Luzia Ferreira da Silva, Raquel Ferraz Jardim Simões, Kelem Silva Fonseca, Adriano do Nascimento Simões

Abstract


Ethanol and citric acid can increase longevity in some cut flowers. However, its use must be extremely careful, with application methods and specific concentrations for each type of cut flower. Thus, the objective was to examine the physico-chemical and physiological changes in Gerbera cv. Mistique cut flowers treated with ethanol (Et) and/or citric acid (CA). Stem were selected and standardized to a length of 35 cm and maintained at 20 ± 2 ºC and RH 65 ± 2%, under continuous lighting. The flowers were subjected to two application methods (pulsing for 48 h and maintenance), using different concentrations of Et (4%, 6%, and 8%) and/or CA (100 and 200 mg L-1) and distilled water (control). A visual assessment and analyses of longevity, stem bending, fresh mass, relative water content, electrolyte leakage, and peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase enzyme activities were performed at every two days. The Et (4%) + CA (100 mg L-1) solution provided the greatest longevity, regardless of the application method. These results were the basis for a third experiment, in which the stems were immersed in pulsing solutions of Et (4%) and/or CA (100 mg L-1) and distilled water (control). The Gerbera flowers under Et + CA solution showed lower fresh mass loss and electrolyte leakage, higher relative water content and a slower increase in polyphenol oxidase and peroxidase activities. This allowed for delayed stem bending and better appearance, resulting in greater longevity compared to the other solutions.

Keywords


Gerbera jamesonii, flowers, postharvest preservation, pulsing and maintenance.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14295/oh.v25i2.2009

ISSN: 2447-536X

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