Investigating the potential of sodium nitroprusside, a nitric oxide donor, to extend the vase life of Protea cut flower products
Protea flowers contribute significantly to the South African indigenous Cape Flora industry. However, meeting quality requirements when exporting to long-distance markets is often challenging, mainly due to a severe postharvest physiological disorder, leaf blackening, which occurs in many Protea species. Currently glucose pulsing is used by the industry as a postharvest control for this condition. Due to certain limitations in both the efficacy and application of glucose as a pulse, it is important to find new alternatives to control the occurrence of leaf blackening in Protea. The use of sodium nitroprusside (SNP) was evaluated, regarding its efficacy to extend the vase life of Protea. Two different concentrations of SNP (25 and 50 µM) were used, and compared against a 6% glucose pulse that is the current commercial treatment for the control of leaf blackening. Three Protea cultivars namely 'Sylvia', 'Susara', and 'Brenda' were used to test the influence of the treatments throughout the flowering season. The occurrence of leaf blackening was determined as a percentage and the quality of the flowers were scored on a rating scale. In this study both SNP concentrations did not significantly show any positive signs regarding the control of leaf blackening, but it does have the potential to maintain flower quality.
Truter, W., Vardien, W. and Hoffman, E.W. (2018). Investigating the potential of sodium nitroprusside, a nitric oxide donor, to extend the vase life of Protea cut flower products. Acta Hortic. 1201, 439-446
Cape Flora, extend vase life, leaf blackening, pulsing solutions