. 35(2), A
Received for publication 12 Apr. 1999. Accepted
for publication 30 June 1999. We thank the Rural
Industries Research and Development Corporation
for financial support, Mr. Tony Slater for experi-
mental assistance and advice, and Mr. Allan Lisle
for statistical advice. The cost of publishing this
paper was defrayed in part by the payment of page
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To whom reprint requests should be addressed; e-
silver thiosulfate, Telopea, Thryptomene calycina, vase life, Verticordia nitens, Zieria
C and they were also applied in series. Vase
ratory. Descriptions of these genera can be
found in Wrigley and Fagg (1997).
Flowers were assigned to individual vases
containing 10 mg available chlorine per liter
of deionized water. The 1-MCP gas was syn-
thesized and quantified according to Sisler
and Serek (1997). Flowers were treated on day
0 with 0 or 10 nL·L
1-MCP for 12 h at 20
inside sealed glass or perspex chambers. Half
were then exposed on day 1 to ethylene (10
) for 12 h at 20
C. The 1-MCP treat-
preliminary experiments with Grevillea
‘Sylvia’ (Setyadjit et al., 1997) and other cut
flowers (Serek et al., 1995a), in which this
treatment provided protection against ethyl-
ene. The ethylene treatment protocol was based
on similar treatments reported by Joyce (1989),
which caused flower abscission in C. uncina-
period per day (10–13
pletely randomized designs were used with
five to 10 replicate flowers per treatment. Data
were analyzed by analysis of variance as 2
factorials using MINITAB Release 11.12.
Nanomolar concentrations of 1-MCP pre-
vented floral organ abscission (data not pre-
sented) and associated loss in vase life in C.
Williams’, Grevillea ‘Misty Pink’, L.
with exogenous ethylene (Table 1). This find-
ing is consistent with reports that STS treat-
ment prevents ethylene-related abscission in
cut flowers of C. uncinatum, V. nitens, and
Grevillea hybrids (Joyce, 1989; Joyce and
Poole, 1993; Joyce et al., 1993; respectively).
The 1-MCP treatment did not provide signifi-
cant protection against ethylene for Telopea
‘Shady Lady’. Vase lives of C. adunca, E.
scaber, L. scoparium, O. diosmifolius, P.
lanceolata, T. calycina, and Z. cytisoides were
not significantly (P > 0.05) reduced by expo-
sure to exogenous ethylene. Except for C.
gummiferum, 1-MCP treatment did not sig-
nificantly (P > 0.05) extend the vase life of any
of the other 13 species tested when they were
not exposed to ethylene.
This study shows that 1-MCP gas, which is
easy to apply, has potential as a postharvest
anti-ethylene treatment for C. gummiferum, C.
uncinatum, Grevillea ‘Kay Williams’,
Grevillea ‘Misty Pink’, L. petersonii, and V.
Australian Bureau of Statistics. 1998. Exports by
industry, p. 83. Austral. Bur. Stat., Canberra,
Joyce, D., R. Jones, and J. Faragher. 1993. Posthar-
vest characteristics of native Australian flowers.
Postharvest News and Inform. 4:61N–67N.
Joyce, D.C. 1989. Treatments to prevent flower
abscission in Geraldton wax. HortScience
Native Australian cut flowers are traded
internationally (e.g., Australian Bureau of Sta-
tistics, 1998). However, unless treated with
silver thiosulphate (STS), floral organ abscis-
sion or senescence occurs in some Australian
flowers on exposure to ethylene, thereby re-
ducing vase life and marketability (Joyce et
al., 1993). Despite environmental risks, STS is
used commercially (Serek et al., 1994). Alter-
natively, the novel, gaseous, ethylene-binding
inhibitor, 1-MCP (1-methylcyclopropene), can
protect cut flowers (Serek et al., 1995a, 1995b;
Sisler et al., 1996). In this screening study, the
efficacy of 1-MCP treatment in preventing
ethylene damage to a range of native Austra-
lian flowers was examined.
Materials and Methods
Cut Verticordia nitens (Lindley) Schauer
(yellow morrison) flowers and flowering
Ceratopetalum gummiferum (Smith) (New
South Wales Christmas bush) stems were re-
ceived at the Queensland laboratory within 48
h of harvest. Other flowers, Cassinia adunca
(Sonder), Platysace lanceolata (Labill.) Druce,
Grevillea ‘Misty Pink’ and ‘Kay Williams’,
Chamelaucium uncinatum (Schauer) ‘Paddy’s
Late’ (Geraldton waxflower), Leptospermum
Tall Pink’ (rice flower), and Zieria cytisoides
(Smith) were taken to this laboratory within 3
h of harvest. Flowering Eriostemon scaber
(Paxton) and Thryptomene calycina (Lindley)
Stapf. (Grampians thryptomene) stems and
taken to the Victorian laboratory within 24 h of
harvest. Flowering Leptospermum scoparium
(Forster) ‘Winter Cheer’ (tea tree) stems were
harvested from plants growing near this labo-
volatile ethylene inhibitor improves the posthar-
vest life of potted roses. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.
Serek, M., E.C. Sisler, and M.S. Reid. 1995a. Ef-
fects of 1-MCP on the vase life and ethylene
response of cut flowers. Plant Growth Regulat.
Table 1. Effect of 1-MCP and ethylene
on vase lives
of Australian native cut flowers.
Vase life termination criteria
Flower abscission and/or sepal wilting
Flower abscission and/or closing
Leaf senescence and/or pedicel wilting
Flower abscission and/or wilting and/or fading
Flower wilting and/or fading
Flower abscission and/or closing and/or fading
Flower abscission and/or wilting
Mean separation within rows by
Subjectively assessed as loss of visual appeal.
1-MCP and ethylene were each applied for 12 h at 20
C on day 0 and 1, respectively.
Serek, M., E.C. Sisler, T. Tirosh, and S. Mayak.
1995b. 1-Methylcyclopropene prevents bud,
flower, and leaf abscission of Geraldton
waxflower. HortScience 30:1310.
Setyadjit, A.J. Macnish, D.C. Joyce, and D.H.
Simons. 1997. 1-Methylcyclopropene prevents
ethylene-mediated flower abscission from
Grevillea ‘Sylvia’ inflorescences, p. 333–335.
In: Proc. Australasian Postharvest Hort. Conf.,
28 Sept.–3 Oct. 1997, Univ. of Western Sydney,
Sisler, E.C., E. Dupille, and M. Serek. 1996. Effect
of 1-methylcyclopropene and methylene-
cyclopropene on ethylene binding and ethylene
action on cut carnations. Plant Growth Regulat.
Sisler, E.C. and M. Serek. 1997. Inhibitors of
ethylene responses in plants at the receptor
level: recent developments. Physiol. Plant.
Wrigley, J.W. and M. Fagg. 1997. Australian native