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Ethylene (plant hormone)

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Ethylene is the simplest plant hormone.
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Ethylene is the simplest plant hormone.

Ethylene (or Ethene) functions as a plant hormone in plants. It stimulates the ripening of fruit, the opening of flowers, and the abscission of leaves. Its biosynthesis starts from methionine with 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) as a key intermediate.

Ethylene was discovered when the byproducts of gas burning street lamps were shown to cause plant senescence in a greenhouse.

Location, Characteristics and Occasions for Synthesis Induction

  • Directly induced by high levels of Auxin
  • Found in germinating seeds
  • Induced by root flooding
  • Induced by drought
  • Synthesized in nodes of stems
  • Synthesized in tissues of ripening fruits
  • Synthesized in response to shoot environmental, pest, or disease stress
  • Synthesized in senescent leaves and flowers
  • Rapidly diffuses
  • Inhibiting effects of Ethylene on shoot growth (more specifically on stem elongation) reduced in the presence of light. Also Ethylene levels are decreased by light
  • Released in mature cells when they do not have enough minerals and water to support both themselves and any dependent cells
  • Released by all cells when they are experiencing conditions which would normally cause a mature shoot cell to produce Ethylene

Effects

  • Stimulates leaf and flower senescence
  • Induces leaf abscission mainly in older versus younger leaves.
  • Induces seed germination
  • Induces root hair growth – this increases the efficiency of water and mineral absorption
  • Stimulates Epinasty – leaf petiole grows out, leaf hangs down and curls into itself
  • Stimulates fruit ripening
  • Induces the growth of adventitious roots during flooding
  • Usually inhibits growth - just shoot growth
  • Affects neighboring individuals
  • Disease/wounding resistance
  • Triple response when applied to seedlings – root ? and shoot growth inhibition and pronounced hypocotyl hook bending
  • Inhibits stem swelling ? (Contradictory to the finding below – contradictory sources)
  • Stimulates cell broadening (and lateral root growth)
  • Interference with Auxin transport (when hormone levels are increasing)
  • Directly or indirectly induces Auxin at high levels
  • Inhibits the rate of metabolism of cells in the shoot (who are not already at their lowest metabolism rates) in response to an decrease in the levels minerals and/or water


Plant hormones edit (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Template:Plant_hormones&action=edit)

Auxins - Cytokinins - Ethylene - Gibberellins - Abscisic acid - Brassinosteroids - Jasmonates - Salicylic acid

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