The tepals of cut tulips (Tulipa gesneriana L. cv. Ile de France) kept at 20°C had severely wilted 7 days after flower opening. Suppression of abscission and undesirable growth of tepals is required to extend vase life. Treatment with 50 mM trehalose in combination with 50 μM chloramphenicol (CAP) delayed abscission by 4 days compared with stems placed in distilled water or CAP without trehalose. Only 4% of trehalose+CAP-treated flowers exhibited tepal abscission 7 days after harvest, while 82% and 60% of flowers held in distilled water and CAP, respectively, did so; the tepals of trehalose+CAP-treated flower stems contained 50% more water than did those treated with CAP alone. Further, trehalose did not promote elongation of epidermal parenchyma cells in tepal tissues, but maintained radial enlargement of the cells. Thus, trehalose+CAP treatment is effective in prolonging vase life without abscission, water loss, or elongation of cells in tulip tepals, but slight wilting occurs in leaves.
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