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  Konjac bloom question
From: "Charles Gramling" <chazmg1 at citlink.net> on 2007.05.02 at 01:27:46(15619)
I have just experienced my first bloom. While reading about
the amazing growth is one thing, seeing it is something else. I have not seen
any discussion of what occurs that allows that amazing conversion of stored
energy in to the flower. I almost thought that the tuber itself should be warm
with the effort. Is there anything available on this process and what compounds
are released during the bloom?

Chuck Gramling

From: "Peter Matthews" <pjm at gol.com> on 2007.05.06 at 12:58:02(15639)
Dear Chuck,

I think one of the main authors on the biochemistry of aroid flowering
(generation of heat and aromatic compounds by the spadix) is Meuse

My own specimen of konjac has just flowered here in Kyoto (now beginning
to decay, 5th May), after an unusually warm winter.


From: Douglas Ewing <dewing at u.washington.edu> on 2007.05.07 at 16:17:10(15652)
Chuck, much of what is known about this process was started by work done
by the late Baastian Meeuse who did his research primarily on Sauromatum
guttatum here at the Univ. of Washington. Hanna Skubatch worked with
him near the end of his life, and
continued on with investigating this process.

You will find publications that deal with the unusual respiratory pathway
that the mitochondria that are concentrated in the spadix utilize to
produce heat.

From: "Charles Gramling" <chazmg1 at citlink.net> on 2007.05.07 at 20:00:19(15657)
Thanks to all for some pointers on where to look. I would not have thought
putrescine and cadaverine would have been the names coined, and
appropriately so, for the compounds that make up the aroma. It still amazes
me that you could almost see the stalk growing, putting it somewhere between
the weeds in my garden and a snail. The heat the spadix generates is just
icing on the unusual process.

I had the tuber in my store during the growth phase and it attracted much
attention and comment. On Monday of last week after reaching 35" the dead
mouse smell, or so it seemed to me (I know that one well), was more than
appropriate and I moved it outdoors until Friday. The bloom was still in
pretty good shape almost 1 week later which was surprising. It is also fun
to tell folks who the beastie's relatives are. All in all a very satisfying

Chuck Gramling

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