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  • Author or Editor: S. F. Yang x
  • HortScience x
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Abstract

Ethylene has long been known to have a profound effect on plants (1). The early use of smoke or of burning incense as a ripening agent is undoubtedly attributable to the ethylene content. Following the advent of sensitive gas chromatographic instruments in the early 1960's, postharvest physiologists established the essential role of ethylene as a ripening hormone (1, 30). Demonstration of the natural function of ethylene in fruit ripening has stimulated the search for other functions. As the realization has grown that ethylene is a naturally produced plant hormone, so has the list of processes which it is known to regulate. The various effects of ethylene on plants or plant parts include growth inhibition, root initiation, fruit degreening, flower initiation, modification of flower sex expression, stimulation of fruit growth, initiation of fruit ripening, participation in plant disease resistance, promotion of leaf, flower and fruit abscission and dehiscence, release of seed and bud dormancy, release of apical dominance and regulation of tissue proliferation. At each stage of crop production, ranging from germination and propagation to harvest and postharvest handling, there are plant processes subject to modification by ethylene.

Open Access
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Abstract

Firmness loss, increase in 1-aminocyclopropane-l-carboxylic acid (ACC) concentrations, and increase in internal ethylene concentrations were greatest in airstored fruit of ‘Golden Delicious’ apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) and lowest in controlled-atmosphere (CA)-stored fruit receiving a “rapid CA” or a “prestorage high carbon dioxide” storage procedure. Changes in apples kept in “slow CA” were intermediate. The accumulation of ACC in fruit was related closely to the subsequent flesh softening and increase in internal C2H4 concentration, and these processes were suppressed to different degrees in CA-stored fruit, depending on the storage procedures.

Open Access

Abstract

The changes in ethylene production rates and development of 1-aminocyclopropane-l-carboxylic acid (ACC) synthase and polygalacturonase (PG) activities were studied during the maturation and ripening of tomato fruit (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill, cv. ‘Castlemart’). There was a linear relationship between internal ethylene concentration and ethylene production rate; both increased exponentially as tomato fruit reached more advanced maturity and ripening. Thus, both of them correlate with the maturity and the ripening stages of tomatoes. A small increase in ACC synthase activity was observed at the early mature green stages which was followed by a marked increase at the breaker stage. ACC level followed the same pattern as ACC synthase activity. PG activity was undetectable or low throughout the mature green stages, but increased significantly after reaching the breaker stage. These data indicate that the onset of the development of ACC synthase activity precedes that of PG activity.

Open Access

Abstract

Ethylene production of tissues excised from root, stem, leaf, inflorescence, and fruit of 16 plant species greatly increased following the application of 1-aminocyclopropane-1 carboxylic acid (ACC), an intermediate in the conversion of methionine to ethylene. Treatment with 1 mM ACC invariably increased the rate of ethylene production 10 to 1000 times over controls, whereas methionine at the same concentration was ineffective. Treatment with 0.1 mM ACC consistently increased ethylene production in all of the tissues tested, although only a few tissues responded to 0.01 mM.

Open Access