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Plant Hormone Ethylene: Major Functions


Ripening hormone
Ripening hormone- Ethylene
  • Gaseous hormone
  • Ripening hormone
  • Senescence of leaves and fruits, response to water logging
Ethylene effects
  • Regulate ripening of climacteric fruits (like apples, tomatoes)
  • Sharp rise in respiration in climacteric fruits is called ‘climacteric rise’ or climacteric.
Synthesis/ precursor
  • From methionine via S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) and 1-aminocycle propane 1-carboxylic acid (ACC).
Major effects
  • Fruit ripening
  • Climacteric rise
  • Ethylene production in climacteric fruit is auto catalytic
Triple response
  • Ethylene treated shoots show three 3 characteristics growth responses
  • Epinasty: downward curvature of leaves
  • Decreased elongation and lateral cell elongation
  • Loss of gravity response
  • In wet land species like rice ethylene induces rapid elongation growth induces formation of aerenchyma
  • High concentration induces adventitious root formation

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