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The effects of high temperatures and ethephon on vegetative growth stage and the production of flowers and daughter Corms in saffron (Crocus sativus L.)

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Authors: R.M. Muñoz Gómez, J.A. de Juan Valero, O. Botella Miralles, A. Moya Aparicio
Issue: 98V-3 (200-212)
Topic: Plant Production
Keywords: Crocus sativus L., corm, forcing, flowering, high temperature treatment, ethylene

Dormant saffron (Crocus sativus L.) corms were kept at a temperature of 30ºC for periods of 0, 15, 30, 45 and 60 days, and then a treatment of ethephon (a compound that releases ethylene) was applied at concentrations of 0, 1000, 3000 and 9000 ppm. Later they were planted in pots and put into a phytotron with light for 10 hours daily and day temperature at 17ºC and 10ºC at night.
Data relating to the vegetative stage, flowering, and the production of daughter corms were analyzed. The high‑temperature treatment which produced earlier sprouting lasted for 15 days at 30ºC; however, the greatest production of flowers and therefore of stigmas was obtained after 45 and 60 days at 30ºC. The effect of ethylene varied proportionally to the concentration used in practically all the variables studied; therefore by increasing the concentration of ethephon a delay in sprouting, a shorter duration of the vegetative period, an increase in the number of sprouts and a decrease in their length, a decrease in the number of flowers and of the average wet weight of flowers and stigmas, a greater production of daughter corms and their lesser weight and diameter was observed. The interaction between maintaining a 30ºC temperature and ethephon treatments was no significant in the majority of the variables studied.

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