Journal Article

Developmental changes and water status in tulip bulbs during storage: visualization by NMR imaging

Annette Van der Toorn, Hanita Zemah, Henk Van As, P. Bendel and R. Kamenetsky

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Volume 51, issue 348, pages 1277-1287
Published in print July 2000 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online July 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:
Developmental changes and water status in tulip bulbs during storage: visualization by NMR imaging

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were used to follow time‐dependent morphological changes and changes in water status of tulip bulbs (Tulipa gesneriana L., cv. ‘Apeldoorn’) during bulb storage for 12 weeks at 20 °C (non‐chilled) or 4 °C (chilled) and after planting. MR images reflecting the water content, the relaxation times T1 and T2 (or their reciprocal values, the relaxation rates R1 and R2), and the apparent self‐diffusion coefficient of water molecules (ADC), were obtained for intact bulbs. After planting, scape elongation and flowering occurred only in chilled bulbs, while elongation in non‐chilled bulbs was retarded. Microscopic observations showed different structural components and high heterogeneity of the bulb tissues. MRI revealed the elongation of the flower bud during storage, which was significantly faster in the chilled bulbs. In addition, MRI demonstrated a redistribution of water between different bulb organs, as well as significant differences in the pattern of this redistribution between the chilled and non‐chilled bulbs. Generally, R2 relaxation rates became faster in all bulb organs during storage. At the same time, ADC values remained constant in the chilled bulbs, while exhibiting a significant increase in the non‐chilled bulbs.

Keywords: Tulip bulb; floral development; storage; temperature treatment; geophytes; MRI; SEM.

Journal Article.  5962 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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