Keywords: cyclopropenes, ethylene inhibition, flower longevity, fruit ripening, postharvest quality, shelf life extension, postharvest technology, 1-Methylcyclopropene, 1-MCP, ornamental crops, fruits, vegetables, transgenic plants
Postharvest technologies for extending the shelf life of ornamental crops
1-Methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) and other cyclopropenes block ethylene responses in plants at the receptor level. 1-MCP is commercially available under the trade name of EthylBloc® and SmartFresh™. It is very effective in blocking ethylene responses in a range of ornamental crops, fruits and vegetables. Some recently prepared 1-substituted cyclopropenes inactivate the receptor even for a longer time than 1-MCP. Control of function of the ethylene receptor can be achieved by using molecular techniques. Gubrium et al. (2000) has introduced the etr1-1 mutant gene under control of the constitutive promoter CaMV35S in petunia flowers for improvement of postharvest life. However, constitutive expression of etr1-1 caused unwanted effects, e.g., significant reduction of adventitious root formation. In our study with Campanula carpatica potted plants we used a flower specific promoter instead of 35S, and avoided such side effects. Horticultural performance and subsequent evaluation of the transgenic Campanula plants have been performed.