Werner B. Herppich, Uzuki Matsushima, Wolfgang Graf, Simon Zabler, Martin Dawson, Gerard Choinka, Ingo Manke
May 16, 2018
“Bent-neck” syndrome, an important postharvest problem of cut roses, is probably caused by water supply limitations and/or the structural weakness of vascular bundles of the peduncle tissue. For this reason, advanced knowledge about the microstructures of rose peduncles and their cultivar specific variations may lead to a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Synchrotron X-ray computed tomography (SXCT), especially phase-based CT, is a highly suitable technique to nondestructively investigate plants’ micro anatomy. SXCT with monochromatic X-ray beams of 30, 40 and 50 keV photon energy was used to evaluate the three-dimensional inner structures of the peduncles of 3 rose cultivars that differ greatly in their bent-neck susceptibility. Results indicated that this technique achieves sufficiently high spatial resolution to investigate complex tissues. However, further investigations with chlorophyll fluorescence analysis (CFA) and optical microscope imagery reveal different kinds of heavy damage of the irradiated regions induced by synchrotron X-rays; in a cultivar-specific manner, partial destruction of cell walls occurred a few hours after X-ray irradiation. Furthermore, a delayed inhibition of photosynthesis accompanied by the degradation of chlorophyll was obvious from CFA within hours and days after the end of CT measurements. Although SXCT is certainly well suited for three-dimensional anatomical analysis of rose peduncles, the applied technique is not nondestructive.