The orchid flowers may stay fresh in unpollinated state from few weeks to months but show rapid senescence upon pollination. Metabolic changes related to this phenomenon are less well understood in orchid flowers. Presently, two orchid species, Aerides multiflora Roxb. and Rhynchostylis retusa (L.) Bl., varying in their floral life span were evaluated for their postpollination-induced responses, involving the oxidative stress. The unpollinated flowers of A. multiflora stayed fresh for 17 days and attained senescence in 5 days after pollination (DAP), while those of R. retusa. remained fresh for 24 days and showed senescence in 7 DAP. After pollination, wilting began in 2 to 3 days in A. multiflora and 3 to 4 days in R. retusa. There was a higher electrolyte leakage accompanied by a concomitant increase in the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), indicators of oxidative damage in all the organs after pollination while ascorbic acid decreased significantly. The flowers of A. multiflora showed a greater electrolyte leakage, MDA and H2O2 contents as compared to those of R. retusa. Ascorbic acid content, on the other hand, was lower in A. multiflora than in R. retusa, suggesting a higher oxidative damage to the floral organs in the former species. An application of triiodobenzoic acid ( an auxin inhibitor; 0.25 mM) and silver nitrate (ethylene inhibitor; 0.25 mM) to pollinated flowers partially prevented the oxidative damage and consequently the senescence, suggesting the involvement of these hormones. AgNO3 was more effective in delaying senescence.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 31, 2008
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