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Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan--Publication-Special Publication of TARI-No.145

No.145

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Temperature acclimation before shipping and light acclimation after shipping improved the performance of Phalaenopsis after prolonged dark shipping

Temperature acclimation before shipping and light acclimation after shipping improved the performance of Phalaenopsis after prolonged dark shipping

Yao-Chien Alex Chang* and Jiunn-Yan Hou

Department of Horticulture, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
* Author for correspondence: alexchang@ntu.edu.tw

Abstract

    Mature, ready-to-bloom Phalaenopsis plants are often shipped by sea, where they experience total darkness for a few weeks in cool air, in stark contrast to warm growing conditions in the greenhouse. After prolonged dark shipment, the plants experience a drastic change from total darkness to lighted conditions. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of lower-temperature acclimation before shipping and light acclimation after dark storage on the quality and photosynthetic status of phalaenopsis plants. Temperature acclimation at 25/20 ˚C day/night temperatures for 10 d before shipment reduced the severity of chilling injury in mature Phalaenopsis plants in a cool and dark environment. The increased tolerance to chilling injury after temperature acclimation was not attributed to the changes of abscisic acid concentration in leaves. In another experiment, sudden exposure to a photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) of 399 μmol·m-2·s-1 after dark storage resulted in foliar chlorophyll degradation, restricted recovery of net CO2 uptake rate, and severely reduced maximal quantum efficiency of the leaves. Based on these parameters investigated, an acclimation light intensity of 140 μmol·m-2·s-1 resulted in the best post-shipping performance of the plants. A gradual increase from low to moderate light levels is suggested as the ideal light acclimation protocol for cultivation of mature phalaenopsis plants after prolonged dark storage.