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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Improving Postharvest Life of Potted Plants and Cut Flowers through Use of Molecular and Applied Technologies Title: Sodium hypochlorite: A promising agent for reducing Botrytis cinerea infection on rose flowers

item Macnish, Andrew -
item Morris, Kristy -
item DE Theije, Annemarie -
item Mensink, Manon -
item Boerrigter, Henry -
item Reid, Michael -
item Jiang, Cai-Zhong
item Woltering, Ernst -

Submitted to: Postharvest Biology and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 30, 2010
Publication Date: December 1, 2010
Repository URL:
Citation: Macnish, A.J., Morris, K.L., De Theije, A., Mensink, M.G., Boerrigter, H.A., Reid, M.S., Jiang, C., Woltering, E.J. 2010. Sodium hypochlorite: A promising agent for reducing Botrytis cinerea infection on rose flowers. Postharvest Biology and Technology. 58:262-267.

Technical Abstract: Botrytis cinerea is a fungal pathogen that greatly reduces the postharvest quality of rose flowers. We determined the potential of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl), an oxidizer with antimicrobial activity, to reduce the incidence of disease on flowers. A postharvest dip in 200 µL L-1 NaOCl for 10 s at 20 °C provided the greatest control of B. cinerea on ‘Akito’ and ‘Gold Strike’ flowers. NaOCl derived from Clorox® Ultra household bleach solution was more effective than laboratory grade NaOCl in reducing disease symptoms. Lowering the pH of the NaOCl solution from pH 9.7 (unadjusted) to pH 7.0 greatly improved its efficacy. Treating ‘Gold Strike’ flowers in this pH-adjusted NaOCl solution was more effective in reducing the level of infection on petals than postharvest dips in the conventional fungicides Medallion®, Phyton®, Switch® and Vangard®. Applying NaOCl prior to a 3 or 10-d commercial shipment also provided the most consistent disease control for a wide range of rose cultivars as compared to conventional fungicides. Of particular interest, the efficacy of NaOCl and Phyton® was greatest when these compounds were applied to ‘Gold Strike’ flowers after incubation at 20 °C and 90% RH for 6-9 h. Our findings highlight sodium hypochlorite as a promising new candidate for the control of B. cinerea on rose flowers.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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