Electrolyte leakage (EL) and ethane:ethylene ratio (EER) responses of pepper (Capsicumannuum L. Early Calwonder) leaf disks to temperature stresses were in close agreement. Midpoints of sigmoidal response curves following freezing stress were -4.6 and -4.4C for EL and EER, and 49.0 and 48.8C following high temperature stress. Evolution of ethane and EL were measured from disks infiltrated with a saturation series of 18-carbon fatty acids ranging from 0 to 3 double bonds. Only linolenic acid (18:3 n-3) stimulated ethane production and EL. In a second fatty acid experiment with 18- and 20-carbon acids with a double bond 3 (n-3) or 6 (n-6) carbons from the nonpolar end of the molecule, n-3 fatty acids stimulated more ethane than n-6 acids with the same number of carbons. Trienoic 18-carbon fatty acids stimulated more ethane than trienoic 20-carbon acids. Both 18-carbon acids yielded significantly greater EL than controls. Propyl gallate, a free radical scavenger, reduced ethane production without decreasing EL or K+ leakage.
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