Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 47–51 | Cite as

Effect of octanoic acid on ethylene-mediated flower induction in Dutch iris

  • Marie-Louise Botha
  • Charles S. Whitehead
  • Abraham H. Halevy


Treatment of Dutch iris (Iris × hollandica Hoog. cv. ‘Sapphire Beauty’) bulbs with ethylene prior to precooling stimulated flowering in bulbs of various sizes. In large sized bulbs exposure to ethylene followed by precooling resulted in 100% flowering over a five months period after planting. Flowering in control bulbs which were not treated with ethylene prior to precooling was limited to 67% during the same five months period. In medium sized bulbs flowering in the ethylene treatment was 90% compared to 75% in the control. However, the biggest stimulation of flowering by ethylene was found in small sized bulbs (from 16 to 56%). Application of octanoic acid for a short time period prior to exposure to ethylene stimulated flowering in all bulb sizes. After five months the final percentage flowering in large and medium sized bulbs of the octanoic acid plus ethylene treatment did not differ from that of the ethylene only treatment. However, the initial rate of flowering was higher in the former treatment. In small bulbs the percentage flowering was much higher in the octanoic acid plus ethylene treatment than in the ethylene only treatment. The results of this study indicate that, just as in certain flowers, fruit and seeds, treatment with octanoic acid stimulates ethylene sensitivity in Dutch iris bulbs. The sensitivity of untreated bulbs to ethylene was highest in large bulbs and lowest in small bulbs. This correlated well with the endogenous octanoic acid content of the bulbs. Octanoic acid levels were highest in large bulbs and lowest in small Bulbs. It appears that the endogenous levels of octanoic acid in the bulbs is determined prior to the onset of dormancy.

bulbs Dutch iris ethylene ethylene sensitivity flowering octanoic acid 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie-Louise Botha
    • 1
  • Charles S. Whitehead
    • 1
  • Abraham H. Halevy
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BotanyRand Afrikaans UniversityAuckland ParkSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of HorticultureThe Hebrew University of JerusalemRehovotIsrael; telephone

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