Petal development and senescence entails a normally irreversible process. It starts with petal expansion and pigment production, and ends with nutrient remobilization and ultimately cell death. In many species this is accompanied by petal abscission. Post-harvest stress is an important factor in limiting petal longevity in cut flowers and accelerates some of the processes of senescence such as petal wilting and abscission. However, some of the effects of moderate stress in young flowers are reversible with appropriate treatments. Transcriptomic studies have shown that distinct gene sets are expressed during petal development and senescence. Despite this, the overlap in gene expression between developmental and stress-induced senescence in petals has not been fully investigated in any species. Here a custom-made cDNA microarray from Alstroemeria petals was used to investigate the overlap in gene expression between developmental changes (bud to first sign of senescence) and typical post-harvest stress treatments. Young flowers were stressed by cold or ambient temperatures without water followed by a recovery and rehydration period. Stressed flowers were still at the bud stage after stress treatments. Microarray analysis showed that ambient dehydration stress accelerates many of the changes in gene expression patterns that would normally occur during developmental senescence. However, a higher proportion of gene expression changes in response to cold stress were specific to this stimulus and not senescence related. The expression of 21 transcription factors was characterized, showing that overlapping sets of regulatory genes are activated during developmental senescence and by different stresses. \u
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