[Effect of substrate-dependent microbialy produced ethylene on plant growth].

PMID 16758878


Various compounds have been identified as precursors/substrates for the synthesis of ethylene (C2H4) in soil. This study was designed to compare the efficiency of four substrates, namely L-methionine (L-MET), 2-keto-4-methylthiobutyric acid (KMBA), 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), and calcium carbide (CaC2) for ethylene biosynthesis in a sandy clay loam soil by gas chromatography. The classic "triple" response in etiolated pea seedling was employed as a bioassay to demonstrate the effect of substrate-dependent microbialy produced ethylene on plant growth. Results revealed that an amendment with L-MET, KMBA, ACC (up to 0.10 g/kg soil) and CaC2 (0.20 g/kg soil) significantly stimulated ethylene biosynthesis in soil. Overall, ACC proved to be the most effective substrate for ethylene production (1434 nmol/kg soil), followed by KMBA, L-MET, and CaC2 in descending order. Results further revealed that ethylene accumulation in soil released from these substrates created a classic "triple" response in etiolated pea seedlings with different degrees of efficacy. A more obvious classic "triple" response was observed at 0.15, 0.10, and 0.20 g/kg soil of L-MET, KMBA/ACC, and CaC2, respectively. Similarly, direct exposure of etiolated pea seedlings to commercial ethylene gas also modified the growth pattern in the same way. A significant direct correlation (r = 0.86 to 0.97) between substrate-derived [C2H4] and the classic triple response in etiolated pea seedlings was observed. This study demonstrated that the presence of substrate(s) in soil may lead to increased ethylene concentration in the air of the soil, which may affect plant growth in a desired direction.