Microbial Ecology

, Volume 77, Issue 4, pp 967–979 | Cite as

Titanium Ions Inhibit the Bacteria in Vase Solutions of Freshly Cut Gerbera jamesonii and Extend the Flower Longevity

  • Cai-Xia Li
  • Yan-Fen Fan
  • Wei Luan
  • Ya Dai
  • Ming-Xiu Wang
  • Chun-Mei Wei
  • Yan Wang
  • Xiang Tao
  • Ping Mao
  • Xin-Rong MaEmail author
Plant Microbe Interactions


Titanium ions significantly promote plant growth, but the mechanism is still unclear. Cut flowers are ideal materials for the study of plant growth and senescence. In this study, freshly cut Gerbera jamesonii were used to study the effects of titanium ions (8 mg/L) on the flower longevity. Flowering observation showed that the gerbera vase life was significantly prolonged in the presence of titanium ions. Plate colony counts showed that the amounts of bacteria in the vase solution of the control group were approximately 1700 times more than that of titanium ion treatment group. High-throughput sequencing was used to determine the sequences of 16S rRNA gene V3-V4 variable regions of the vase solutions to analyze bacterial species, their average proportions, and absolute abundance. The results showed that the titanium ions reduced the entire bacterial counts as well as altered the absolute abundance of different bacterial species in the vase solution. The most prevalent bacteria were mainly Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas veronii, Pseudomonas sp., Delftia sp., Agrobacterium sp., Sphingobacterium multivorum, Acinetobacter johnsonii, and Clostridiaceae. In combination with plate colony counts, we demonstrated that all the bacterial growths were significantly inhibited by titanium ions, regardless of their average proportions increased or decreased. These results showed that titanium ions could extend effectively the longevity of gerberas and possess the broad-spectrum antibacterial properties. This study provides a basis for further mechanism exploration of titanium ions action and its applications in cut flower preservation and agricultural production.


Titanium ions Gerbera jamesonii Cut flower longevity Antibacterial activity High-throughput sequencing 16S rRNA gene V3-V4 variable regions 



We thank the anonymous reviewers and the editors for their constructive comments and suggestions to improve the manuscript. This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFD0201301) and the Key Research and Development Program of Sichuan (Grant No. 2018NA0027).

Author Contributions

C.X.L. and Y.F.F. designed and performed most of the experiments, analyzed data, drafted, and revised the manuscript. W.L., Y.D., C.M.W., and M.X.W. participated in preparing and treating samples. Y.W., X.T., and P.M. analyzed and interpreted partial sequence data. X.R.M. conceived and designed research plan and experiments and supervised, critically revised, and complemented the writing. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cai-Xia Li
    • 1
  • Yan-Fen Fan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wei Luan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ya Dai
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ming-Xiu Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chun-Mei Wei
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yan Wang
    • 1
  • Xiang Tao
    • 1
  • Ping Mao
    • 1
  • Xin-Rong Ma
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Chengdu Institute of BiologyChinese Academy of SciencesChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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