Ethylene (plant physiology)
Kevany, Brian M. Department of Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Dal Cin, Valeriano Department of Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Klee, Harry J. Department of Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Involvement with fruit ripening
- Role in flower senescence
- Involvement during seedling emergence
- Signal transduction
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A phytohormone (plant hormone) that is an important signaling molecule involved in many plant processes, including, but not limited to, abscission (the physiological process promoted by abscisic acid whereby plants shed a part), leaf and flower senescence, germination, sex determination, and fruit ripening. Ethylene also functions in both biotic and abiotic stress responses. Exposure to environmental stresses—such as flooding, wounding, herbivory (the consumption of plants without killing them), chilling, or pathogen attack—can enhance ethylene production. This ethylene then slows growth until the stress is removed. Interest in ethylene's importance as a plant hormone over the past century has laid the foundation for a real understanding of ethylene's involvement in plant growth and development. See also: Abscission; Plant development; Plant growth; Plant hormones; Plant physiology
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