The use of cryoprotectants in unrooted cuttings of Pelargonium zonale, in order to increase their life expectancy
Abstract: The rooting capacity of an unrooted Pelargonium zonale cutting decreases immensely 96 hours after being cut. The aim of this paper was to evaluate if two different cryoprotectants, 25% glucose and 30% trehalose, with the help of vacuum impregnation and pulse electric fields could result in an increase in the life expectancy of these cuttings. This was established by testing four different vacuum protocols were the average weight gain was noted. The optimal protocol was the first one where the average weight gain of the cutting was 17.13% when treated with glucose and was 24.75% when treated with trehalose. Pulsed electric fields parameters were optimised through trial and error were the optimum voltage was determined to be at 800V. Moreover, after treating the P. zonale cuttings with both vacuum impregnation and pulsed electric fields, they were stored at 6 ℃ for approximately 7 days and then they were planted in Jiffy-7 pots. This was repeated three times. Further, the root development was measured daily after approximately two weeks. The data was later analysed using a binary logistic regression where it illustrated that there was a significant difference between the untreated cuttings and the ones treated with 30% trehalose. A comparison between the two sugars conveyed that the cuttings treated with trehalose rooted better than those treated with glucose.
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