We investigated the role of ethylene on adventitious rooting of `Gala' (easy-to-root) and `Triple Red Delicious' (difficult-to-root) apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) microcuttings. Root count increased significantly as IBA level increased, with highest root counts on `Gala'. Ethylene evolution increased significantly with IBA level without significant differences between cultivars. Basal section removal of microcuttings in the area of root origin reduced root count without changing ethylene evolution. Ethylene treatment of proliferated shoots before microcutting excision failed to enhance rooting. IBA-induced ethylene evolution was eliminated nearly by AVG, but root count remained IBA dependent. ACC reversed IBA plus AVG rooting inhibition, but ACC alone failed to influence root count. Polar auxin transport inhibitors NPA and TIBA stimulated ethylene evolution without increasing root count. Adventitious rooting of apple microcuttings was not associated with ethylene. Chemical names used: 1-H-indole-3-butyric acid (IBA); aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG); 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC); 2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid (TIBA); N-1-naphthylphthalamic acid (NPA).
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