Tomorrow's bouquets and potted plants would last longer

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Washington, Apr 3 (ANI): Bouquets and colourful potted plants could last longer in future, thanks to floriculture research by a plant physiologist at Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

Cai-Zhong Jiang's investigations might help boost the vase life of favorite cut flowers and shelf life of prized potted plants.

In current studies, the researchers have shown that spraying low concentrations of a compound known as thidiazuron (TDZ) has significant, sometimes spectacular effects in extending the life of potted plants' leaves and flowers.

For example, in tests with greenhouse-grown cyclamen plants, TDZ-treated plants had a significantly longer life than did unsprayed plants, according to Jiang.

Leaves of TDZ-treated cyclamen plants took longer to yellow and fall off than those of untreated plants.

TDZ, a synthetic version of a naturally occurring plant compound known as a cytokinin, is not new.

However, preliminary studies with cut flowers, were the first to demonstrate the value of TDZ for a commercial floricultural species-in that case, alstroemeria.

The cyclamen experiments conducted by the researchers are the first to show the leaf-saving and blossom-boosting effects of TDZ with potted floricultural plants.

Though commercial use of TDZ on cut flowers and potted plants seems promising, the researchers' deeper interest lies in determining precisely how TDZ affects genes and proteins inside the plants.

The findings have been published in Postharvest Biology and Technology earlier this year. (ANI)

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