| Material Information
||Reversing postharvest wilt of leatherleaf fern
||ARC-Apopka research report
||2 p. : ; 28 cm.
||Henny, R. J
Agricultural Research Center (Apopka, Fla.)
||University of Florida, IFAS, Agricultural Research Center-Apopka
||Place of Publication:
||Leatherleaf fern -- Florida ( lcsh )
Leatherleaf fern -- Postharvest diseases and injuries -- Control -- Florida ( lcsh )
||government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
||Statement of Responsibility:
||ARC-A research report ;
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Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
n REVERSING POSTHARVEST HILT OF LEATHERLEAF FERN
R. J. Henny
University of Florida IFAS
Agricultural Research Center-Apopka
ARC-Apopka Research Report RH-82-23
Postharvest wilt of leatherleaf fern (Rumohra adiarithi'forynis,[G, .,
Forst.] Ching) can be a serious problem for producers and consumers,-- .... ...".,.;
especially with fern harvested during the hot, humid months of August and
September. Even the healthiest appearing fronds may wilt in just a few
days after harvest when held with their bases in water. Previous studies
have concentrated on production factors such as water, nutrition or frond
age and their effects on postharvest wilt. This study was conducted,
using cut fronds already wilted, in an attempt to determine if the phenome-
non of wilt is a reversible condition.
During September 1982, normal healthy-looking fronds were harvested
in midmorning from beds at the ARC-Apopka fernery and within 30 minutes
were placed in conditioning rooms in 2-liter beakers containing 1 liter
of deionized water. Fronds received approximately 125 ft-c of Cool
White fluorescent light 12 hours daily at a constant 800F, Ten fronds
were placed in each beaker. When fronds began to wilt they were removed
from the beakers and taken to a lab where the basal 1 or 2 centimeters
(cm) of the stipes were removed, using a razor blade; control fronds
were not recut. Fresh weight of each frond was determined and it was
then placed into a 100 milliliter graduated cylinder filled with
deionized water. Fronds were then returned to the conditioning room and
placed under the same environment as before. After 24 hours the fronds
were visually rated for their degree of recovery from wilt. Their fresh
weight was measured and the amount of water uptake was determined.
Wilted fronds were collected over a 6 day period in order to obtain
enough fronds for the experiment. Fronds in each replication were
selected with as uniform a degree of wilt as possible.
Wilted fronds which had the base of the stipe recut recovered from
wilt completely or to a high degree within 24 hours. Fronds with the
basal 1 cm of stipe removed took up a mean of 12.4 ml of water and
gained 31.7% in fresh weight, while those with 2 cm of stipe removed
gained an average of 32.0% in fresh weight and absorbed a mean of 11.4
ml of water. In contrast, fronds which were.n.t .recut took up a mean
The author wishes to express appreciation for the excellent technical
assistance of Mr. Chris Fooshee.
of 0.2 ml of water in 24 hours and their degree of wilt continued to
increase (Table 1). They lost an average of 12.4% of their initial fresh
weight during this period. Some recovered fronds, which initially wilted
8 days after harvest, lasted an additional 10 days after being recut.
Although the actual cause of postharvest leatherleaf fern wilt is
unknown, these results indicate that it is not a permanent condition
and can be reversed by removing a 1 cm portion from the base of the stipe.
It is probable that one factor which influences the occurrence of leather-
leaf fern wilt is blockage of the vascular tissue in the basal 1 cm of
the stipe. Whether blockage is a physiological reaction due to wounding
of the fern during harvest, or a biological reaction involving bacterial
or fungal contaminants, remains in question.
Table 1. Mean initial fresh weight, water uptake, fresh weight gain,
percent fresh weight gain and degree of recovery of wilted leatherleaf
fern fronds 24 hours following removal of 0, 1 or 2 cm from the base
of the stipe and placement in water.
Length Initial Mean Mean Mean % fresh Degree
of fresh fresh water fresh weight of
basal weight weight uptake weight gain recovery
cut (ml) gain (gm)
(cm) (gm) (24 hr) (24 hr) (24 hr) (24 hr) (24 hr)
0y 12.1 10.6 0.2 -1.5 -12.4 .1.0
1 12.0 15.8 12.4 3.8 31.7 4.9
2 12.2 16.1 11.4 3.9 32.0 4.8
ZVisual rating where 1 = none; 2 = slight; 3 = moderate; 4 = high and
5 = complete.
YCuts made with razor blade. Twenty fronds per treatment.