Low oxygen atmosphere is beneficial for preservation of fresh cut roses. Flower tolerance to specific atmosphere yielding anaerobic products was determined. A suitable gas mixture of ULO conditions (0.8% oxygen and 0.1% carbon dioxide) was shown to lead to elevated ethanol production in tissues. The tissue ethanol content in ULO and RA atmosphere (21% oxygen and 0.03% carbon dioxide) was 300 mg/l and 6 mg/l, respectively. After the exposure to ULO conditions when the material was in air ventilation under cold storage, ethanol decreased to the trace concentration comparable with that at the beginning of storage. The oxygen stress caused only small fluctuations in the content of acetaldehyde with difference from 3 to 6 mg/l. The presence of acetaldehyde in the pulp of cut roses indicated a negligible degree of injury by low oxygen. There were only minimal differences between ULO and RA in non-volatile compounds such as sucrose, glucose and fructose. Buds of cut roses did not open during the storage in ULO conditions and in the prolonged phase of air ventilation their opening was delayed for the next 15 days of cold storage.

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