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Postharvest Floriculture Program

Mann Laboratory, Department of Plant Sciences

University of California, One Shields Avenue

Davis CA 95616

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“Our program is directed towards improving the postharvest life of ornamental plants

(i.e. cut flowers, potted plants) through the use of molecular and applied technologies”


Michael Reid


Cai-Zhong Jiang

Andrew Macnish

Genevieve Stier

Kristy Morris

Linda Donnelly

Yin-Chih Liang

Michela Appiano









We are interested in understanding the fundamental basis of flower and leaf senescence, with a view towards extending the postharvest life of ornamental plants. Recent research has included:


{ Molecular events during leaf and flower senescence and abscission.

{ Preventing ethylene-regulated senescence and/or abscission.

{ The molecular basis of senescence in short-lived and ethylene-insensitive flowers (like Daylily, Iris).

{ Effects of temperature on respiration and storage of cut flowers.

{ Use of Thidiazuron to delay leaf senescence.

{ Use of alternative treatments to control disease on rose flowers.

{ Evaluation of transporting cut flowers by container ships.




In addition to graduate students working on their dissertation research, I teach the following undergraduate and graduate level classes:


{ Plant Biology 172 (Postharvest Physiology of Perishable Crops)

{ Plant Biology 196 (Postharvest Technology of Perishables)

{ Horticulture 200B (Principles of Horticulture and Agronomy)


These classes are taught with others in the UC Davis Postharvest Program.  Classes may also be available to researchers and industry personnel interested in the handling of perishables.



As the Postharvest Cooperative Extension Specialist assigned to work with ornamentals, I serve the ornamentals industry throughout California with information on techniques for improving the postharvest life of ornamental crops. This information is distributed through meetings, regular reports in the trade press, and through the Postharvest Technology: Research & Information Center. We continually evaluate new techniques for improving the life of cut flowers, and maintain a watching brief on new floral preservatives.




Recent publications include:


Chen, J. C., Jiang, C. Z., Gookin, T. E., Hunter, D. A., Clark, D. G., Reid, M. S.  2004.  Chalcone synthase as a reporter in virus-induced gene silencing studies of flower senescence. Plant Mol. Biol. 55:521-530

Reid, M.S. 2005. Trends in flower marketing and postharvest handling in the United States. Acta Horticulturae 669:29-34

Reid, M.S. 2005. Flower development: from bud to bloom. Acta Horticulturae 669:105-110

Chen, J-C., Johnson, F., Clark, D.G., Gookin, T. and Reid, M.S. 2005. Potential application of virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) in flower senescence studies.  Acta Horticulturae 669:147-152

Xu, X., Hunter, D. and Reid, M.S. 2005. An efficient regeneration system for four o'clocks (Mirabilis jalapa). Acta Horticulturae 669:153-156

Chen, J-C., Jiang, C-Z. & Reid, M.S.  2005 Silencing a prohibitin alters plant development and senescence. The Plant Journal 44:16-24

Reid, M.S. and Jiang, C.Z. 2005New strategies in transportation for floricultural crops. Acta Horiculturae. 682:1667-1674

Jiang, C.Z., Chen, J.C., Reid, M.S. and Clark, D.G. 2005 Functional analysis of genes associated with flower senescence. Acta Horticulturae  682:765-800

Çelikel, F.G. and Reid, M.S. 2005. Temperature and postharvest performance of rose (Rosa hybrida L. ´First Red´) and gypsophila (Gypsophila paniculata L. ´Bristol Fairy´) flowers. Acta Horiculturae 682:1789-1794

Stewart, B.A, Reid, M.S., Ransom, N.A., and Slack, D.C. 2005  Impact of climate change on water supply and agriculture - Crop/Water management guidelines and extension dissemination.  Science and Culture 71:288-292.

Meir S, Hunter D.A., Chen J.C., Halaly V., Reid M.S. 2006  Molecular changes occurring during acquisition of abscission competence following auxin depletion in Mirabilis jalapa. Plant Physiol. 141:1604-1616.

Reid, M.S. 2006 Air transport of cut flowers. In: Perishable Cargo Manual,  6th Edition, International Air Transport Association,  pp. 175-186.

Reid,   Reid, M.S. and Chen, J.C. 2006  Flower Senescence. In the Annual Plant Reviews series, volume on: Senescence Processes in Plants (Gan S., Ed), Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.

Xu, X. Xu, X, Gookin, T., Jiang, C-Z, and Reid, M.S.  2007  Genes associated with opening and senescence of Mirabilis jalapa flowers.  J. Exp. Bot. 58:2193-2201.


In Press

Reid, M.S.  Cut Flower and Greens. In The Commercial Storage of Fruits, Vegetables, and Florist and Nursery Stocks.  USDA Handbook 66 (K.Gross, Ed.)  36 pp.

Reid, M.S., and Staby, G.L.  A brief history of MCP.  HortScience

Reid, M.S., and Celikel, F.G.  Use of 1-MCP for studies in ornamentals.  HortScience

Qiang S., Rost, T., Reid, M.S., and Matthews M.A.  Ethylene and not Embolism Is Required for Wound-Induced Tylose Development in Stems of Grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.)

Xu, X., Jiang, C-Z., Donnelly, L., and Reid, M.S.  Functional analysis of a RING domain ankyrin repeat  protein that is highly expressed during flower senescence


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