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Postharvest physiology of cut flowers.

The longevity of the cut flowers are related to physiological characteristics from the species or to environmental factors, temperature, relative humidity action of ethylene and quality of the water in the vase. The disequilibrium between the water uptake and transpiration caused by xylem obstruction diminishes the availability of water, causing wilting and increasing the ethylene production. The flowers have different degrees of sensitivity to ethylene, in climacteric tropical flowers, a high production of ethylene and increase of sensitivity to ethylene during the senescence. In some flowers, generally with low production and sensitivity to ethylene, the supply of carbohydrates and the interaction with gibberellins and cytokinins have important influence on the longevity. Pulsing treatment with sucrose may improve the longevity of flowers, by favoring the bud opening and improving the vase life due to higher water uptake and by providing carbohydrates for the respiration. In flowers sensitive to ethylene, the deleterious effects of the ethylene can be blocked by the inhibitors 1-MCP or STS, shutdown the autocatalytic ethylene production and extending the vase life, as observed in climacteric flowers, but also may improve the vase life of flowers with low or insensitive to ethylene. The effect of cytokinins and gibberellins may improve the vase life of some flowers, but the interaction of them with ethylene inhibitors, remain be evaluated in tropical flowers.

ISSN: 2447-536X

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