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Back to the List of the Granted Patents                                      Click here to download KE000078 PDF(11) Patent Number: KE 78
(45) Date of grant: 20/04/1999
(12) PATENT
(51) Int.C1.5: A 01N 3/00
(21) Application Number: 1994/ 000133
(22) Filing Date: 29/04/1994
(30) Priority data: 9309095.9 01/05/1993 UK
 
(73) Owner:
MARGARET LOUISE CARSTAIRS of , CARNBEE, ANSTRUTHER, FIFE, KYIO 2RY, SCOTLAND, United Kingdom

(72) Inventor: MARGARET LOUISE CARSTAIRS and LAURENCE W.I. JENNINGS
(74) Agent/address for correspondence: Kaplan & Stratton Advocates, P.O. Box 40111-00100, Nairobi
 
(54) Title: COMPOSITIONS
(57) Abstract:
The invention provides a composition for sustaining plant material comprising an aminopurine or a derivative or salt thereof and at least one component selected from the group consisting of a water soluble polymer and a water soluble compound containing a sulphonyl group; 136590

                                  COMPOSITION
The present invention is concerned with the sustenance of plant material, for example cut flowers, and plants.
After harvesting, plant material remains alive although death will begin to occur after a delay, mainly due to lack of water and essential nutrients. The plant material will begin to perish immediately following harvesting and deterioration may be very rapid indeed, depending on the particular plant material in question and the surrounding conditions (e.g. heat, humidity, etc.).
For example, picked flowers may be noticeably wilted only minutes after the time of picking.
To prevent such rapid deterioration in their condition, cut flowers or foliage are generally placed with their stems extending into water. It is also conventional for sugars, such as glucose, to be added to the water to further maintain the cut plant material in a visually acceptable form.

Where the harvested plant material must be transported or stored for long periods of time, the maintenance of the plant matter in an acceptable condition is more problematic. It is usual
for the plant matter to be chilled and maintained at temperatures between 1°C and 8°C. The decreased temperature depresses the rate of metabolism in the plant cells thus delaying cell death and spoilage of the plant material as a whole. However, maintenance of low temperatures continually throughout transportation or storage is inevitably expensive and further the plant material may itself be distressed or even injured by exposure to such temperatures, especially where the exposure is prolonged. A further problem connected to cold storage or chilling of plant matter is the continuing vulnerability to attack by cryophilic bacteria or fungi.
A similar problem may also occur in the transport or storage of rooted plants, for example pot plants. Although these plants are generally more robust than cut plant material and are generally less stressed it is none the less desirable that the plants are healthy and attractive when offered for retail despite undergoing long periods of transport and/or storage. Thus, for example, it is generally recognized to be advantageous if any flowering plants are in bloom in an attractive manner. The problem encountered here, however, is maintaining the plant in the required state during transport or storage.
The present invention provides a composition which sustains plant material. In particular, the present invention provides a composition for sustaining plant material comprising an aminopurine or a derivative or salt thereof and at least one component selected from the group consisting of a water soluble polymer and a water soluble compound containing a sulphonyl group.
The word "sustains" is used herein to mean that the treated plant material is maintained in whatever state it is in at the time of application of the composition for a relatively long time compared to untreated plant material.
Thus, for example, if the composition is applied to cut flowers picked in bud, the flowers will remain unopened for up to two months after application of the composition. By comparison, untreated flowers will bloom and die in a much shorter time. Likewise, the composition according to the invention may be applied to pot plants, maintaining them in bud for several weeks.
The composition of the present invention is effective at sustaining plant material at temperatures of up to 30OC, preferably 2°C to 18OC, more preferably 5°C to 15°C. Within this range it is preferred that the plant material is maintained at temperatures of 8°C and above, for example 8°C to 12°C, in order to avoid stressing the plant material by chilling.
According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided a composition comprising an aminopurine or a derivative or salt thereof and a water-soluble polymer. This composition, which
is preferably aqueous, may be used to sustain plant material retarding the normal course of plant development or decay.
 
Advantageously, the aminopurine may be 6-furfurylaminopurine (also known as Kinetin) which is a known plant hormone. Kinetin is practically insoluble in water and is reported to be a plant growth promoter at low concentrations. In very high concentrations, for example 200 mg/litre and above, Kinetin has been noted to have a retardation effect on plant growth. However, the difficulties of producing the highly concentrated solutions of Kinetin required to produce a retardation effect in plant growth and the high cost of Kinetin have combined to make this approach commercially non-viable.
A further problem regarding the use of Kinetic is that when dissolved in water (following pre-dissolution in another suitable solvent) the Kinetin solutions must be stored at below 0°C or the material will crystallize out.
Other aminopurines can be used in the composition according to the present invention and suitable examples include adenine, 6-benzylaminopurine, N-beniy1-9 (2tetrahydropyranyl)adenine, 8-(2-chloro-4-pyridy1)-n-phenylurea, diphenylurea, 6-(y,y-dimethylallylamino)purine, 1-phenyl-3-(1,2,3-thiadiazol-5-yl)urea adenine hemi-sulphate and (6-(4-hydroxy-3-methyl-but-2-enylamino)purine).
 Conveniently, the composition according to the present invention in dilute, ready-to-use form comprises 0.5 to 20 mg/liters, preferably 2 to 10 mg/litre and especially preferably 4.0 to 8.0 mg/litre of an aminopurine, such as Kinetin.
The effect of the aminopurine on plant growth is synergistically enhanced by the presence of the water-soluble polymer. Thus, the present invention also provides a composition containing synergistically effective amounts of an aminopurine (or a derivative or salt thereof) and a water-soluble polymer.
Any water-soluble polymer is effective in the present invention and mention may be made of water-soluble starches, starch derivatives, amylase, celluloses and cellulose derivatives, for example carboxymethylcellulose, methylcellulose, hydroxyethylcellulose, methylhydroxyethylcellulose, methylbydroxypropylcellulose and monochloroacetocarboxymethyl cellulose. Conveniently, the water-soluble polymers are present as salts with suitable cations, for example as their sodium or potassium salts.
In one preferred aspect, the present invention provides a composition to sustain plant material, said composition comprising 6-furfurylaminopurine and carboxymethylcellulose or a salt thereof.
While we do not wish to be bound by theoretical considerations, it is believed that the compositions of the present invention mimic the conditions experienced by hormonal chemicals, such as Kinetin, inside plant cells or in the xylem of plants by providing an environment containing polymers equivalent to the cellulose or lingo-cellulose naturally present.
Instead of, or in addition to, a water-soluble polymer the composition of the present invention may comprise a water soluble compound containing a sulphonyl group, such as polyester. Sulphonated polyesters may be used in this regard. Also suitable for use in the compositions of the invention are the group of polyesters found in plants which have a "tannin-like" structure and which are conventionally used as preservatives in leather tanning. Generally, these polyesters have benzyl groups alternating with glycerol. Particularly preferred polyester is the
sulphonated polyester formed from pentaerythritol and phthallic anhydride whose preparation is described in Example 1 hereinafter. For convenience, this will be referred to as polysulphono-di-
pentaerythrity1-1, 2-benzene-di-carboxylate. Alternatively, the compound containing a sulphonyl group may be a sulphonamide, such as sulphanilamide. Other sulphonamides of the general formula H2N4-C6H4-SO2-NHR where R represents a variety of chemical groups are also of interest. Sulphonamide drugs in which R is a substituted pyrimidine group are of particular interest.
Thus, the present invention also provides a composition comprising an aminopurine or a derivative or salt thereof and a water soluble compound containing a sulphonyl group, such as a water-soluble ester, sulphanilamide or other sulphonamide. This composition, which is preferably aqueous, may be used to sustain plant material retarding the normal course of plant development or decay. In another aspect the present invention also provides .a composition containing synergistically effective amounts of an aminopurine (or a derivative or salt thereof) and a compound containing a sulphonyl group, such as a water-soluble ester, sulphanilamide or other sulphonamide.
In one preferred aspect, the present invention provides a composition to sustain plant material, said composition comprising 6-furfurylaminopurine and polysulphono-di-pentaerythrity1-1, 2- benzene-di-carboxylate or salts thereof.
In a further preferred aspect, the present invention provides a composition for sustaining plant material comprising 6-furfurylaminopurine and a sulphonamide, preferably sulphanilamide.
A synergistic effect is observed in the effectiveness of the composition when the water soluble compound containing a sulphonyl group, such as a polyester, sulphanilamide or other sulphonamide, is present together with the water-soluble polymax-and a composition comprising an aminopurine together with both water-soluble polymer and a water soluble compound containing a sulphonyl group, such as a water-soluble ester, sulphanilamide or other sulphonamide, forms a further aspect of the invention.
Optionally the composition may also include other additives such as, for example, a colour stabilizer such as caffeine, vitamin substrates such as myo-inositol, antibiotics such as penicillin, agents to control bacterial growth such as sodium metabisulphite, a fungicide such as carbendazim or a yeast inhibitor such as undecanoic acid or Nystatin.
To maintain a proper nutrient balance the composition may also include nitrogen and phosphorus containing compounds, such as nitrates and ammoniacal nitrogen or phosphates, as well as sugars, calcium and potassium salts.
Buffers and other conventional additives may also be included in the composition. In particular, the pH of the solution may be adjusted to be pH 3.0-8.0, preferably slightly acidic (pH 3.0-5.5) to mimic the pH of sap. Acids such as acetic acid, citric acid, propionic acid, tartaric acid and lactic acid may be useful in this regard. Mention may also be made of sodium acetate, calcium gluconate, calcium lactate, potassium sodium tartarate and potassium hydrogen phosphate as being suitable buffers.
Zwitterions such as naturally occurring amino acids (e.g. glycine) 5    may also be used to control the pH.
It is especially desirable that metals heavier than aluminum are not present in the composition of the present invention. In this regard chelating agents, such as EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) or DTPA (diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid) may be added to remove any contaminating heavy metals which may be present in the water making up the composition.
Osmotic pressure regulators may also be included in the solution. Examples of suitable regulators include glucose, glucose hydrates such as mannitol and sorbitol, sucrose, fructose, trioses such as maltotriose, polyols such as pentaerythritol, or derivatives or mixtures thereof.
The composition according to the present invention may be produced either as an aqueous solution which is ready for application to the plant material, or as a concentrate in either liquid or solid form. The concentrate may be diluted with water prior to application or may be used to "top up" existing solutions on a continuous production basis. Where a concentrate is produced, a complex in the form of a micro-crystalline precipitate is produced which can be readily dissolved in water, prior to use.
When the composition is in the form of a concentrate, the Kinetin is preferably present in an amount from 0.005 to 0.70%. preferably 0.01 to 0.60%, by weight, the water soluble
polymer (if present) is present in an amount from 8 to 96%, preferably 10 to 95%, by weight and the water soluble compound containing a sulphonyl group (if present) is present in an amount from 2-85%, prefrably 4-80%, by weight. When the composition is in dilute, ready-to-use form, the Kinetin is preferably present in an amount from 0.5 to 20 ppm, preferably 2 to 10 ppm and especially 4 to 8 ppm, the water soluble polymer (if present) is present in an amount from 50 to 25000 ppm, preferably 100 to 20000 ppm, and the water soluble compound containing a sulphonyl group (if present) is present in an amount from 200-2500 ppm, preferably 300 to 2000 ppm.
The aqueous solution which is produced either directly or as a dilution of a previously prepared concentrate may be applied to the plant material either by placing the cut stems in a container which is charged with a portion of the aqueous composition, preferably filled with the aqueous composition to a depth of up to halfway to two-thirds of the stem (depending on the foliage cover), or alternatively, the composition may be sprayed directly onto the surface of the plant material. The technique of spraying the composition onto the plant surface is of particular utility for plants which are rooted in soil. This is due to the fact that the soil particles tend to absorb the composition which consequently fails to reach the root system of the plant in the required quantities. Spraying the foliage of a rooted plant allows the composition to be absorbed through the cells. It is generally desirable to spray a rooted plant with the composition more than once, for example 2 to 5 times, allowing absorption of the composition between each spraying.
Where the plant material has been cut or where the root system of a plant is free from soil particles, absorption of the composition may be by absorption through the roots or stem. Cut plants may also be sprayed as an alternative to, or in addition to, uptake of the composition through the stem.
Once the period of transportation or storage is complete and it is desired that the plant should now continue to develop normally the effects of the composition can be countermanded by simple washing in water. Clearly, where the plant material has been sprayed with the composition, removal must be by immersion or, more preferably, by spraying the treated surfaces with water. If desired, in the case of harvested plant material, the treated plant material may be transferred to the composition for promoting the continued development of harvested plant material described in applicant's co-pending patent application which claims priority from British patent applications nos. 9309095.9 and 9317061.1.
 
In this case, it is not essential to wash the plants prior to transferrable although this may be desirable.

It is envisaged that plant material may be transported or stored whilst constantly immersed in the composition of the invention. For instance, this may be accomplished by means of an aquapack or a suitable consumer display unit. However, it has been found to be advantageous in terms of overall plant life to immerse the plant material in the composition of the invention for a specified period of time and then transfer the plant material to a dry pack for transportation or storage. Consequently, in one particularly preferred embodiment, sufficient composition is applied to the plant material so that after removal and drying of the treated surfaces, the delaying effect of the development of the plant material continues. Thus, cut flowers may be treated with the composition by immersion of their stems, as described above, and once the cut flowers are sufficiently treated, they can be removed from the composition, dried and stored or transported without further need for the presence of water. Generally, it is desirable that where the flowers are to be transported dry a higher concentration of water-soluble polymer is present in the
composition used for treatment.
The present invention is of particular application to cut flowers and foliage. Where flowers are to be treated, better effects may be obtained if the flowers are treated whilst in bud, especially if the flowers are treated whilst still in tight bud.
The composition can be used for any type of plant material, especially commercial and garden flowers, shrubs, foliage, etc. The composition is particularly useful for cut flowers, especially roses, irises, carnations, lilies, daffodils, sweet peas, freesias poppies, orchids, chrysanthemums and soft-stemmed flowers such as anemones, phlox and sweet Williams, foliage such as lilac and eucalyptus, and Christmas trees.
A particular problem occurs in the storage of cut roses, which frequently wilt quickly despite immediate transfer to an adequate supply of water. It has now been found that if the end of a freshly cut rose stem is chemically cleaned, for example in alcohol such as isopropanol, the life of the cut rose is considerably extended and this forms a further aspect of the present invention. It is believed that cleaning the rose stem in this manner removes oils which seep from the cells damaged by the cutting process and which then block the phloem and/or xylem of the cut rose.
Once treated, the plant material is delayed in developing further. However, the plant material cannot be maintained indefinitely simply by treatment with the composition of the invention and, if the treated plant material is simply left too long, death will eventually result.
The present invention further provides a method for delaying normal plant development, this method comprising the application of a composition, as described above, to plant material. Where the plant material is cut roses, the method may optionally comprise a preliminary step of cleaning the cut rose with alcohol.
In a further aspect, the present invention provides plant material, for example cut flowers, treated with the composition referred to above.
Viewed from another aspect, the present invention provides the use of an aminopurine, such as Kinetin, or a composition as defined above to retard the development of plant material, in particular cut flowers and/or foliage.
The invention is further described by the following, non-limiting examples:
EXAMPLE 1
Preparation of sulphonated polyester (Polvsulphono-di-pentaerythrity1-1,2-benzenedicarboxvlate
 Pentaerythritol (27 g) was mixed with phthallic anhydride (15 g) and concentrated sulphuric acid (98% v/v, 20 ml) and the mixture was then heated to 135°C and maintained thus for 20 minutes.
 
       On cooling, the mixture was brought to just alkaline with sodium hydroxide solution (40% w/v, 60 ml). On cooling to room temperature, the clear brown-yellow liquid was filtered at the pump and net to evaporate to near dryness in an oven at 100°C overnight. The reduced filtrate was extracted twice with methanol (250 ml), heated to 60°C, filtered and the methanol then recovered by distillation. The residue from the distillation was dried in the oven at 100°C overnight to yield a brown-yellow glass (about 24 g) which was mobile at 100°C and solid at room temperature.
Characterization
I.R. Spectrum:          Band Frequency           Interpretation
                                 810 cm-1                      di-substituted ring
                                 1000 cm-1                    C-0 stretch (Ester)
                                 1250 cm-1                    C-0 stretch (Ester)
                                 1560 cm-1                    ring vibrations
                                 1715 cm-1                    C=O stretch (Ester)
                                 2850 cm-1                    C-H ring
                                 3300 cm-1                    -OH (Alcohol)
EXAMPLE 2
A solution of 6-furfurylaminopurine (Kinetin) was prepared by weighing an amount of 20 to 200 mg into a flask and adding NaOH solution (2-4 mg solution) and shaking to dissolve. This solution was rapidly diluted to approximately 100 ml with water. Next, a solution of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) (low viscosity Grade 7ULC) was prepared using 10 g to 15 g in 100 ml of water. The Kinetin and CMC solutions were mixed together.
A chosen polyester was added in an amount of 5 g to 15 g. In this preferred embodiment, the chosen polyester was polysulphono-di-pentaerythrity1-1, 2-benzenedicarboxylate prepared
as described in Example 1.
 
The remaining components were added. The nitrate, phosphate, ammoniacal nitrogen and potassium together were comprised in a solution prepared separately and yielding per ml 98.7 mg NO3, 55.0 mg PO4, 50.7mg NI14, 30.0 mg 0- (Potassium ions). This solution was added in a volume of between 10 ml to 20 ml.
Next, myo-inositol (1-2 g) was added and, finally, any chosen fungicide (e.g. approximately 0.2 g carbendazim), a bactericide such as sodium metabisulphite (e.g. 1 g - 3 g), and a yeast inhibitor if required.
The whole composition was mixed together to yield the concentrate in a volume of about 220 ml which was used at a dilution of 11 ml per litre to yield the working fluid.
EXAMPLE 3
A litre Erlenmeyer flask was filled with test solution, formulated as shown below:
Carboxymethylcellulose (7ULC)                  10 g
Kinetin                                                           0.005 g
(Stock Solution)
Acetate ester of CMC                                   1 g
Sodium chlorocyanurate                              0.2 g
in one litre of water.
Ten stems of roses were placed in the flask to a depth of 15 cm and then left at 10°C for 24 hours. The flowers were then removed and placed in a bubble pack lined box. Two control flowers were similarly treated in water alone. Treated roses were removed at two day intervals and placed into water containing plant food.

     The first seven flowers removed recovered and bloomed normally.
     The remaining three flowers did not recover. The maximum storage time was found, therefore, in this case to be fourteen days.
The control flowers, removed on days 2 and 4, both failed to recover.
 
EXAMPLE 4

The composition was formulated using:
    
Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) 7ULC                                      20 g
Kinetin                                                                                         0.010g
Sodium Chlorocyanurate                                                             0.3g
Teepol    (a surfactant)                                                                 0.1g
Sulphonated polyester (prepared as described in Example 1)     1.0 g

Fifteen Dianthus stems were conditioned overnight in cool water, then transferred to a flask charged with the test solution described above and allowed to stand in the liquid for 36 hours at 10°C. The blooms were then stared in a bubble pack lined box held at approximately 10°C.
Control
Two stems were placed directly in water and placed in a warm climate (23°C) where they lasted for five days before senescing.
Stems were withdrawn from the bubble pack sequentially at two and three day intervals after one week in store. The stems were limp on withdrawal but found to condition normally and open fully when placed in water in a warm climate. The stems lasted as flowers for four or five days following reconditioning. The last stems, withdrawn after 30 days in storage lasted only two days, giving a maximum storage, in these conditions, of around 28 days.
The results are shown in Table 1.
 







TABLE 1

Days         No. of Stems Transferred         Days to First Sign of Senescence        Days to Failure
8               2                                                4                                                           6
10             1                                                6                                                           6    
12             1                                                4                                                           8
15             2                                                6                                                           10
17             1                                                5                                                            6
22             1                                                4                                                            9
24             2                                                4                                                            7
26             1                                                3                                                            4
29             2                                                2                                                            2

EXAMPLE 5
A composition was made by admixing together:
Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) 7ULC                     10 g
Water-soluble ester (prepared as
described in Example 1)                                               2 g
Kinetin                                                                          0.0075 g
Sodium Chiorocyanurate                                             0.3 g
Teepol                                                                          0.1 ml
in one litre of water.

        Twelve stems of a large bloomed variety of rose were placed in the composition formulated as described above, for a total of 28 hours at 12°C. The stems were placed in a bubble pack and
double polythene lined box which was then flushed with CO2 gas, morning and evening for the duration of the test.
 
Control
     Two stems were taken for controls and these were placed in a warm climate. The control stems senesced in three days. One untreated stem kept in the box for five days failed to recover even after immersion in water.
Results
After five days, the treated roses were removed sequentially at one to three day intervals, reconditioned by immersion in water and set in a warm climate to bloom. On reconditioning, blooms lasted from 3 to 5 days except for the last bloom withdrawn which failed to recover after two days, giving a maximum storage time of 14 days under these conditions. The results are summarized in Table 2.
                                                 TABLE 2

Days after treatment     No. of Treated Lifetime after             Lifetime after Conditioning (Days)
                                     Flowers Removed and  
                                     conditioned
5                                       1                                                       4  
6                                       2                                                       5
7                                       1                                                       *
10                                     1                                                        3
12                                     1                                                        5               
14                                     2                                                        4
17                                     1                                                        2


 *Stem broken; no result.
NB “Condition” = immersion in water

EXAMPLE 6
Samples of polygonatum (Solomon's Seal) were harvested in light bud and set in flasks, each charged with 500 ml of the working solutions.
It had been noted that solutions of water-soluble polyester prepared as described in Example 1 seemed to prevent leaf fall. Flasks were charged with water (Flask A), a solution
containing 200 mg of Kinetin (Flask (3) and a solution of 1 g/litre polyester (prepared as described in Example 1) and Kinetin (5 mg) (Flask C).
After a number of trials, the final experiment gave the following results after 14 days.


WATER                     WATER AND                  POLYESTER AND
                                    KINETIC                         KINETIC
(Flask A)                    (Flask B)                          (Flask C)
Plant dead                  Plant still                          Plant similar in
                                   remarkably green             appearance to B, less damage to florets
                                   some evidence of              
                                   damage to florets                  
 

EXAMPLE 7
Forty-five stems of Iridace (Iris) in tight bud were split into three equal groups. Each group was placed in a flask charged with one litre of working solution and the flasks were maintained separately. One group (Group A) was held in just water, one group (Group B) was placed in test solution and, lastly, one group (Group C) was held in conditions believed to reflect current best practice (namely, the flowers were placed in water at a low temperature of around 50C containing "Chrystal"). The flowers were examined daily. The test was conducted in the absence of light for
the first seven days. On day eight, the surviving blooms held in the test solution were transferred to a composition as defined in applicant's co-pending patent application which claims priority from British patent applications nos. 9309095.9 and 9317061.1 (Solution D). The test solution contained:
Carboxymethylcellulose (7ULC)                            2 g
Kinetin                                                                     0.005 g
Soluble Polyester (prepared as
described in Example 1)                                          2 g
Myo-inositol                                                            0.1 g
Sodium metabolisulphate                                         0.2 g
KNO3                                                                                                           0.129 g
(NH4)2

in one litre of water

The results are shown in Table 3 below. In this table, the expression "damped off" means 'rotting'.
 

TABLE 3

DAY                                       NUMBER OF BLOOMS OPENED
                           5°C                                               13OC                                 13°C

                          WATER + "CHRYSAL"            TEST SOLUTION
                          BEST CURRENT
                          PRACTICE
                          (Group C)                                    (GROUP B)                      (GROUP A)   
1                        0                                                   0                                       0
2                        0                                                   0                                       0
3                        0                                                   0                                       Showing damage
4                        All open                                       0                                       All damped off
5                        All open                                       1                                       All damped off
6                        All open                                       1                                       All damped off
7                        Blooms curled
                          at petal edges                               1                                       All damped off
                          Blooms curled
                          at petal edges                                Transferred
                                                                                to Solution 0                    All damped off
9                     All damped off                                All open    
10                                                                            All open    
11                                                                            All open    
 


EXAMPLE 8
Two test solutions were prepared having the following compositions:-
Test Solution A ( Constant Immersion)
Kinetin                                                                0.2 g
Carboxymethylcellulose (7ULC)                       15.0 g
Sulphonated Polyester (prepared according
to Example 1)                                                     15.0 g
Myo-inositol                                                      2.0 g
Sodium metabisulphite                                      2.0 g
KNO3                                                                2.58 g
(NH4)2 HPO4
made up to 20 litres in water                             2.14 g

Test Solution 8 (Timed Immersion)    
Kinetin                                                               0.2 g
Carboxymethylcellulose (7ULC)                      50.0 g
Sulphonated Polyester (prepared according
to Example 1)                                                    10.0 g
Sodium metabisulphite                                      2.0 g
KNO3                                                                2.58 g
(NH4)2 HPO4                                                    2.14 g
made up to 20 litres in water

Constant Immersion test
65 Lilies (Group 1) were placed in a vessel containing 1 litre of test solution A and 13 lilies (Control Group 1) were placed in a vessel containing 1 litre of water. The number of open blooms in each group was recorded initially and at daily intervals for 6 days.
Timed Immersion test
48 Lilies (Group 2) were placed in a vessel containing 1 litre of test solution B for 18 hours and then transferred to a dry pack box. Similarly, 14 lilies (Control Group 2) were placed in a vessel containing 1 litre of water for 18 hours and then transferred to a dry pack box. The number of open blooms in each group was recorded at daily intervals for 6 days.
The results are shown in Table 4 below.

TABLE 4




DAY                                    NUMBER OF OPEN BLOOMS ON EACH DAY    
               GROUP 1            CONTROL GROUP 1           GROUP 2           CONTROL GROUP 2
0              0                          1                    
1              6 (-10%)              4 (-30%)                                 0            
2             12                        5                                              1                           4    
3             17 (-25%)            5 (-40%)                                 4                           7    
4             37                        7                                              10                         8    
5             50 (-75%)            9 (-70%)                                 14                         12    
6             57 (-85%)            12 (-90%)                               18 (-40%)             12 (-85%)

NB The figures in parentheses indicate the approximate percentage of the total number of flowers which have open blooms.
Discussion
From the above results, it will be apparent that flowers will not last indefinitely under constant immersion conditions. For instance, for lilies, the maximum storage period under constant immersion conditions would appear to be around 6 days. However, if the flowers are treated under timed immersion conditions and then transferred to a dry pack, the maximum storage period would appear to increase. For instance, for lilies, less than 40% of the flowers treated under timed immersion conditions had opened 6 days after treatment had commenced compared to more than 85% of the control groups and the group treated under constant immersion conditions.
 
EXAMPLE 9
Three rooted rose plants (Pink Peace) were examined and the longest growing shoot was measured and recorded for each rose plant. One rose plant was inverted and immersed to a depth covering the growing points in a test solution having the following composition:-

Kinetin                                                            0.004 g
Carboxymethylcellulose (7ULC)                   2.0 g
Sulphanilamide                                              0.2 g
Hydroxyquinoline                                          0.2 g
Diphenyl urea                                             0.002 g
made up to 1 litre in water.
Two control rose plants were similarly immersed in water and one of these control plants (Control 1) was removed from the water and immersed in test solution part way through the test for a period of 24 hours before being removed and left in a dry place. All the plants were kept in a cabinet at 16°C which was lit by a tungsten lamp for approximately 50% of the time. The length of the longest growing shoot was measured daily for each rose plant and the results are set out in Table 5 below.
 
TABLE 5


DAY                    LENGTH OF LONGEST GROWING SHOOT (cm)
                            TEST SOLUTION    CONTROL 1    CONTROL 2
0                          5.0                              5.0                     5.7
1                          5.4                              8.0                     9.0
2                          5.5                              9.5*                   11.0
3                          6.8                              9.5**                 13.3
4                          8.0                              9.5                     16.2
5                          8.0                              9.5                     17.0
6                          No check                    No check           No check
7                         10.0                            10.0                    21.0
8                         11.0                            11.0                    23.5
9                         13.0                            13.0                   26.0
10                       16.0                            13.0                   27.2

* indicates transferred to test solution
** indicates removed from test solution
 
CLAIMS
1. A composition for sustaining plant material comprising an aminopurine or a derivative or salt thereof and at least one component selected from the group consisting of a water soluble polymer and a water soluble compound containing a sulphonyl group.
2. A composition according to claim 1 in which the aminopurine is 6-furfurylaminopurine (Kinetin).
3. A composition according to claim 1 or claim 2 in which the water soluble polymer is carboxymethylcellulose or a salt thereof.
4. A composition according to any one of the preceding claims in which the water soluble compound containing a sulphonyl group is asulphonated polyester.

5. A composition according to claim 4 in which the sulphonated polyester is polysulphono-di-pentaerythrityl-2-benzene-di-carboxylate.
6. A composition according to any one of claims 1, 2 and 3 in which the water soluble compound containing a sulphonyl group is a sulphonamide.
7.  A composition according to claim 6 in which the sulphonamide is sulphanilamide.

8. A composition according to any one of the preceding claims in the form of a ready-to-use aqueous solution.

9. A composition according to any one of claims 1 to 7 in the form of a solid concentrate.
10. A composition according to any one of claims 1 to 7 in the form of a liquid concentrate.
11. A method for delaying normal plant development which comprises treating plant material with a composition as defined in any one of claims 1 to 8.
12. Use of an aminopurine or a composition comprising an aminopurine as defined in any one of claims 1 to 8 to retard the development of plant material.
13. Plant material treated with a composition as defined in any one of claims 1 to 8.
 
                                                                  ABSTRACT
                                                              COMPOSITION
The invention provides a composition for sustaining plant material comprising an aminopurine or a derivative or salt thereof and at least one component selected from the group consisting of a water soluble polymer and a water soluble compound containing a sulphonyl group; use of such a composition to retard the development of plant material and plant material treated with such a composition.
 
                                                       CLAIMS
1.  A composition for sustaining plant material comprising an aminopurine or a derivative
or salt thereof and a water-soluble compound containing sulphonyl group
2. A composition according to claim 1 which further comprises a water-soluble
polymer.

3. A composition according to any one of claims 1 or 2 in which the aminopurine is 6-furfurylaminopurine (Kinetin).

4. A composition according to claim 2 or 3 in which the water soluble polymer is carboxymethylcellulose or a salt thereof.
5. A composition according to any one of claims 2 to 4 in which the `water soluble polymer is a water soluble polymer containing a sulphonyl group.
6. A composition according to any one of the preceding claims in which the water soluble compound containing a sulphonyl group is asulphonated polyester.
7. A composition according to claim 6 in which the sulphonated polyester is the reaction product between pentaerythritol and phthalic anhydride.
8. A composition according to claim 7 wherein the pentnelythritol and phthalic anhydride are present in the ratio of 2:1.
9. A composition according to any one of claims 1 to 4 in which the water soluble compound containing a sulphonyl group is a sulphonamide.
10. A composition according to claim 9 in which the sulphonamide is sulphanilamide.
11. A composition according to any one of the preceding claims in the form of a ready-to-use aqueous solution.
12. A composition according to any one of claims 1 to 10 in the form of a solid concentrate.
13. A composition according to any one of claims 1 to 10 in the form of a liquid concentrate.
14. A method for delaying normal plant development which comprises treating plant material with a composition as defined in any one of claims 1 to 13.
l5. Use of an aminopurine or a composition comprising an aminopurine as defined in any
one of claims Ito 13 to retard the development of plant material.
16. Plant material treated with a composition as defined in any one of claims I to 13.
 
17. A composition, according to claim 1 substantially as herein described with reference
to any one of the illustrative examples.

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