Ethylene-induced petal abscission is a significant problem in Regal Pelargonium (Pelargonium × domesticum L.H. Bailey) during commercial shipping and handling. We previously demonstrated that the Penn State genotypes 'Elegance Silver', and its two progeny, 00-43-1 and 00-43-2, have greater floret longevity and exhibit less sensitivity to ethylene than a range of commercial genotypes. These experiments were conducted to compare the postproduction quality of Penn State genotypes with commercial cultivars following pretreatment with the ethylene action inhibitor, 1-methycyclopropene (1-MCP). Pretreatment with 1-MCP protected florets from petal abscission in response to ethylene treatment (4 h, 0.3 μL L-1) and during simulated transport (3 days, 5 °C and 95% RH, 0.067 ± 0.004 μL L-1 ethylene) in all cultivars, but its effectiveness varied with genotype. In all genotypes, ethylene-induced petal abscission increased with floret age. Consequently, 1-MCP had a significant inhibitory effect on petal abscission of older florets, less effect on freshly opened florets, and no effect on the florets that opened after simulated transport. Whole plant longevity in a simulated consumer environment was significantly higher for Penn State genotypes, which retained and maintained twice as many flowers as commercial genotypes. 1-MCP treatment had no effect on plant performance after simulated transport in any of the cultivars. These results indicate that 1-MCP pretreatment prevents petal abscission of florets during shipping but that only reduced ethylene sensitivity achieved through breeding improves quality during the entire postproduction period.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Agronomy and Crop Science