Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology1
Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture2
Department of Horticulture, University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha3
Department of Biosciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology4
Gladiolus is one of the most popular cut flowers in the world floral market and is highly attractive to consumers. The production of poor-quality gladiolus spikes is one of the most important hurdles to obtaining high prices for this crop. The main objectives of this study were to improve the quantitative characteristics of gladiolus spikes, to increase propagule production and to enhance chemical constituent levels in leaves to help improve plant growth. We performed foliar application of bioregulators, including polyamines (putrescine and spermine) and vitamins (ascorbic acid and thiamine), at different concentrations (0, 0.1, 0.4, 0.7 and 1 mM) to gladiolus plants at the three leaf, five leaf and slipping stages. Application of 1 mM putrescine was the most effective treatment, with prominent effects on economically important spike traits including spike length (55.53 cm), spike diameter (7.53 mm), florets per spike (13.99), first floret diameter (9.66 cm) and first floret weight (4.90 g), followed by spermine treatment. The 1 mM putrescine treatment also had positive effects on corm-associated traits including corm diameter and corm weight, with values of 4.57 cm and 26.16 g compared to 3.47 cm and 17.16 g in control plants, respectively. The contents of chemical constituents in leaves, including total chlorophylls (8.06 mg･g-1), total carotenoids (1.66 mg･g-1), total soluble sugars (4.75 mg･g-1) and phenolics (0.89 mg･g-1) increased in response to foliar application of 1 mM putrescine compared to the control. Ascorbic acid and thiamine also had positive effects on various plant morphological traits and chemical constituents in leaves compared to control plants, but the growth-promoting effects of polyamines were more pronounced. Hence, applying polyamines to gladiolus leaves will help improve spike production and increasing propagule (cormel) yields.
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