New Material Boosts Life and Quality of Cut Roses

Greg Howard
5th April, 2024

New Material Boosts Life and Quality of Cut Roses

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • In Alexandria University's study, adding sucrose to water extended cut roses' freshness and lifespan
  • Combining 20 ppm MWCNTs with 75 ppm GA3, especially with sucrose, further improved roses' bloom, longevity, and health
  • This treatment increased chlorophyll for leaf health, and anthocyanin and phenolic content for color and stress defense
Cut flowers are a staple of decor and gifting, but their beauty is fleeting. The challenge of extending their postharvest life is crucial for both the horticulture industry and consumers. Researchers at Alexandria University have embarked on a study[1] to tackle this issue by exploring the effects of engineered nanocomposites on the longevity and quality of cut rose flowers. The study focused on two main treatments: holding solutions with and without sucrose, and a series of pulsing treatments with varying concentrations of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and a plant hormone called gibberellic acid (GA3). The latter is known to delay aging in plants. The experiment was meticulously designed, with each treatment replicated three times to ensure accurate results. MWCNTs, tiny cylindrical carbon structures, have been previously shown to improve the vase life of cut Alstroemeria flowers by delaying yellowing and floret abscission[2]. These findings provided a foundation for further exploration into the use of nanomaterials for flower preservation. However, the interaction between plants and such nanomaterials can be complex, with both positive and negative outcomes reported[3][4]. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the optimal conditions and concentrations for using MWCNTs in cut flower preservation. The researchers incorporated MWCNTs with GA3, creating a novel antisenescence agent, which means it's designed to counteract the aging process in plants. The effectiveness of this combination was compared to other treatments using tools like Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM). These techniques confirmed the successful adsorption of GA3 onto the MWCNTs while preserving their nanostructure. The results were promising. The addition of sucrose to the holding solution significantly improved the fresh weight, flower diameter, and vase life of the cut roses. More notably, the use of MWCNTs at 20 parts per million (ppm) in combination with GA3 at 75 ppm, particularly when added to a sucrose solution, significantly enhanced the flowers' opening, longevity, and various biochemical parameters related to health and appearance. These included increases in chlorophyll, which is crucial for leaf greenness and health, and anthocyanin and phenolic content, which contribute to the flower's color and defense against stress. The findings of this study are consistent with previous research, which has demonstrated that carbon-based nanomaterials, like MWCNTs, can influence plant physiology and biochemistry[5]. By leveraging these materials, the researchers have shown that it's possible to not only extend the vase life of cut flowers but also to improve their aesthetic qualities. In summary, the study from Alexandria University provides a significant step forward in the field of postharvest flower preservation. By using nanotechnology, specifically MWCNTs in combination with GA3, it is possible to extend the life and enhance the beauty of cut roses. This advancement holds potential for reducing waste, lowering costs, and improving the commercial value of cut flowers, making them last longer and look better for consumers. As the horticulture industry continues to grow, such innovations are vital for sustainability and economic viability.

BiotechPlant Science


Main Study

1) A novel efficient multi-walled carbon nanotubes/gibberellic acid composite for enhancement vase life and quality of Rosa hybrida cv. ‘Moonstone’

Published 3rd April, 2024

Related Studies

2) Multi-walled carbon nanotubes wrapped with polyvinylpyrrolidone can control the leaf yellowing of Alstroemeria cut flowers.

3) Exposure of engineered nanomaterials to plants: Insights into the physiological and biochemical responses-A review.

4) Carbon Nanomaterials in Agriculture: A Critical Review.

5) Carbon Nanotubes-Based Nanomaterials and Their Agricultural and Biotechnological Applications.

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