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Peer-Review Record

Assessing the Effect of Plant Growth Stimulants and Retardants on Cyclamen “Halios F1 Salmon Rose” Cultivar

Horticulturae 2024, 10(1), 53;
by János Bálint 1, Klára Benedek 1,* and Artúr Botond Csorba 1,2,*
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2:
Horticulturae 2024, 10(1), 53;
Submission received: 12 December 2023 / Revised: 28 December 2023 / Accepted: 29 December 2023 / Published: 5 January 2024

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report (Previous Reviewer 4)

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

In the article, which was sent after a long correction, some work was done to make corrections. A number of comments indicated on the original version of the article were taken into account, and significant changes were made to the manuscript. However, a number of comments were virtually ignored by the authors. I will repeat some of them and add new ones that appeared after reading the new version of the article.

(4.) Introduction needs to be supplemented with specific information on the application of different PGRs to cyclamen. It needs also to be clarified what has been shown with the use of stimulants and retardants on cyclamen species.

A query in the Scholar Google system showed the presence of more than 5,000 articles on the topic of Cyclamen and PGRs

(6.) The Results section contains 8 similar Figures, in which the differences are mostly not statistically significant, and which are better given in 1 table.

The authors added a table in which they entered some numerical values, but kept all the graphs. At the same time, discrepancies are observed between the data in the table and the corresponding figures (Fig. 3, 4, 8, 9). This needs to be corrected.

(8.) Section 4 Discussion contains a lot of information on the application of a number of PGRs to change the growth and productivity of various plants, but very little data on the use of PGRs on cyclamen.

See comment (4). Some literature data should be added to the Discussion section.

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Reviewer 2 Report (New Reviewer)

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

The manuscript entitled 'Evaluation of the effects of plant growth stimulators and retarders on cyclamen of the cultivar 'Halios F1 Salmon Rose' presents the results of a greenhouse experiment in which the effects of, among other things, growth regulators were studied in cyclamen breeding. The article was correctly and carefully prepared. However, in my opinion, the manuscript would have gained in value if the scope of analyses had been extended to include biochemical and/or molecular analyses. Despite the well-prepared article, it needs a few minor corrections.
1. I suggest starting the sentences in lines 55 and 67 with new paragraphs. After citations [24] and [28].
2. On what basis did the authors select the date of the treatments with the compounds studied? This is worth mentioning in the article.
3. Why were such different doses of the tested compounds used in these studies? This aspect also requires clarification.
4 Discussion - the authors were not tempted to explain the effects of the tested compounds on plants at the biochemical and molecular level. In my opinion, a discussion of this aspect based on other publications would increase the value of the whole article.
5. Literature list - The authors rely heavily on scientific publications that are not very up-to-date. Articles that have been published in the last 5-6 years account for only 23% of the total papers cited. I suggest supplementing the literature with more recent items. Some examples are given below:



Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

This manuscript is a resubmission of an earlier submission. The following is a list of the peer review reports and author responses from that submission.

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

Comments and Suggestions for Authors
  • Page 2. The temperature average 17-18 0 has been indicated. However we can see from the Fig/1 that the temperature is very different in summer (about 20 degrees) and autumn/winter (about 15 degrees). This dofference should be pointed out.
  • In the Materials and methods the plant characteristics which were measured during the experiment should be listed (rosette diameters etc) as well as the methods of their measurement
  • At what time these characteristics were measured?
  • how uniform were the plants before the experiment?

Reviewer 2 Report

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

The authors investigate the effects of plant growth regulators with different mode of action on the phenotype of a cyclamen variety. The research brings new information which could be of practical use. The manuscript is well structured.

I have some remarks which are listed here and in the attached PDF.


In the Abstract you are explaining the effects of the active substances and it is not clear that you were using commercial preparations. So, after GA3 and BAP, the appearance of GA4+GA7+BAP is a bit confusing.


I would add "cytokinin" too.


Few more lines in the Intro on the physiological roles of cytokinins and gibberellins would be of benefit.

L-57-58: Try to edit this sentence. It is bit heavy.

L-63-65: Same a above.

Materials and Methods

It is not clear what were the lighting conditions in the greenhouse: Was the double foil transparent or not? Were the plants grown under natural light, or some artificial lighting was used? If it is the second case, the light intensity/duration and light source parameters should be described.

How the concentrations used were chosen? My opinion is that it would be more clear to compare the effects of BAP and GA3 each applied alone and in combination than to compare GA3 to GA4+GA7+BAP. Anyway, since the authors were using commercial preparations and their focus is directed to the practical outcome, this criticism from physiological point of view does not undervalue the research done.

L-100-101: "...each row was containing six cyclamen variety in ..." Please edit to avoid the impression that six varieties of cyclamen were used.

L-109-110: Which measurements? Please describe in MatMet section what  measurements were done, how they were done  and when they were done.


I think that the results can be described in a more verbose manner, but it is up to the authors.

Here two questions come:

Do the authors have any observations on the, lets name it "success rate" of flowering? I mean, how many flower buds became real flowers, and how this process was influenced by the application of the preparations?

Did authors notice some shift in the flowering time (earlier or later or prolonged flowering) because of the treatments?


L-214-219: Each of these sentences needs editing of English style.

In the paragraphs starting at L-231 and L-239: The use of "retardants" and "regulators" seems to be mixed and needs to be fixed.


This part needs rewriting - both in English style and information. In its current form, the conclusions are describing in short the results obtained. Please try to extract the essence of these long experiments and ... for example recommend some of the preparations, or explain how you have achieved (or not) the two goals from the end of the Intro part. Hint: the cultivation technology you mentioned there sounds interesting and practical.


If you have nothing to acknowledge delete this part.


No remarks here.


My opinion is that regardless the lack of complicated techniques used in this research, it brings new information about the practical application of plant growth regulators, and it is worth to be published.

The text needs some editing and polishing, so I recommend the manuscript to be accepted after a Minor revision.

Comments for author File: Comments.pdf

Reviewer 3 Report

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

The authors present a study from a single production cycle to evaluate the effects of PGRs on growth and flowering of potted cyclamen. As early as the early 1980s, GA3 was shown to enhance peduncle elongation and subsequent flowering of Cyclamen persicum (Effects of gibberellic acid and naphthaleneacetic acid on petiole senescence and subtended peduncle growth of Cyclamen persicum mill Lyons R.E., Widmer R.E. (1983) Annals of Botany). Currently leading growers e.g. Syngenta not recommended for Cyclamen persicum gibberellic acid  - GA3 will accelerate flowering, produces soft stems and distorted flowers. Growth retardants are dangerous to the environment and humans and for years other methods have been sought to control plant growth. In the case of Cyclamen, there are many new cultivars with compact growth. There are also methods to reduce of the growth of cyclamen by regulating temperature and light. In my opinion, the research presented in this paper does not contribute new scientific knowledge and is of very local interest.

The abstract is very general and does not present the results obtained. The introduction section lacks information on the effect of PGRs on cyclamen growth and flowering. The research methods are very modest and based on only one ruler instrument. Only one cultivar was evaluated. This is not enough from a scientific point of view. In the discussion, the authors refer to tomato or wheat instead of focusing on studies on cyclamen.

Reviewer 4 Report

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

The manuscript discusses the effect of commercial preparations containing plant growth regulators (PGRs) on the growth and flowering of cyclamen. Obviously, the article contains some new information. However, there are a number of comments to the manuscript.

  1. The title contains semantic inaccuracies and repetitions. So, retardants are also PGRs. If the authors wanted to oppose phytohormone analogues and retardants, then it would be better to write “plant growth stimulants and retardants”.
  2. Abstract in the first half contains unnecessary information that is appropriate in the Introduction.
  3. In Abstract, Introduction and other sections, the authors accompany the term "gibberellic acid" with the abbreviation "GA3". This is not true, since GA3 is one of the many forms of GA.
  4. Introduction needs to be supplemented with specific information on the application of different PGRs to cyclamen. It needs also to be clarified what has been shown with the use of retardants on cyclamen (ref. 39). It is necessary to clarify the purpose of the work and novelty, since it is not clear why this study was done at all. The novelty of the study is especially necessary to emphasize.
  5. Section 2 Material and methods are written very badly and do not allow to evaluate/reproduce the experiment. The characteristic of the variety must be combined with the previous paragraph. What was the plant material that was planted in pots? “12 cm pots” - is it height or diameter? How much soil was placed in each pot? Why “six varieties of cyclamen” was indicated on page 3, lines 100-101, although the article refers to one only? Why wasn’t the arrangement of pots in the greenhouse randomized, although it is known that temperature and light regimes differ at different distances from the edges of the greenhouse? It is not clear why in Table 1 shows the designations of Experimental variants, if they were not used later in the article. Figure 2 is made incorrectly (does not match the text). At the end of the section (lines 109-110) it is indicated “During the experiment five measurements on 120 potted cyclamens at four different treatments were performed.” However, it is not written what was measured and in what time during the experiment.
  6. The Results section contains 8 similar Figures, in which the differences are mostly not statistically significant, and which are better given in 1 table. It is not indicated at what time of plant growth the measurements were taken (see the previous comment). There is no information about the timing of the beginning of flowering, and whether they differed for different variants of the experiment.
  7. Section 4 Discussion contains a lot of information on the application of a number of PGRs to change the growth and productivity of various plants, but very little data on the use of PGRs on cyclamen. Also, the possible mechanisms of PGRs action on measured parameters of cyclamen are not discussed.
  8. The article does not explain the choice of these particular commercial preparations for the treatment of plants.
  9. Conclusion contains a statement of the fact that this article confirmed the well-known effects of PGRs: retardants reduce height, gibberellic acid, alone or with cytokinins, increase height and improve flowering. What is new in this article?
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