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Plant physiology

A comparative study of ethylene growth response kinetics in eudicots and monocots reveals a role for gibberellin in growth inhibition and recovery.


PMID 22977279

Abstract

Time-lapse imaging of dark-grown Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) hypocotyls has revealed new aspects about ethylene signaling. This study expands upon these results by examining ethylene growth response kinetics of seedlings of several plant species. Although the response kinetics varied between the eudicots studied, all had prolonged growth inhibition for as long as ethylene was present. In contrast, with continued application of ethylene, white millet (Panicum miliaceum) seedlings had a rapid and transient growth inhibition response, rice (Oryza sativa 'Nipponbare') seedlings had a slow onset of growth stimulation, and barley (Hordeum vulgare) had a transient growth inhibition response followed, after a delay, by a prolonged inhibition response. Growth stimulation in rice correlated with a decrease in the levels of rice ETHYLENE INSENSTIVE3-LIKE2 (OsEIL2) and an increase in rice F-BOX DOMAIN AND LRR CONTAINING PROTEIN7 transcripts. The gibberellin (GA) biosynthesis inhibitor paclobutrazol caused millet seedlings to have a prolonged growth inhibition response when ethylene was applied. A transient ethylene growth inhibition response has previously been reported for Arabidopsis ethylene insensitive3-1 (ein3-1) eil1-1 double mutants. Paclobutrazol caused these mutants to have a prolonged response to ethylene, whereas constitutive GA signaling in this background eliminated ethylene responses. Sensitivity to paclobutrazol inversely correlated with the levels of EIN3 in Arabidopsis. Wild-type Arabidopsis seedlings treated with paclobutrazol and mutants deficient in GA levels or signaling had a delayed growth recovery after ethylene removal. It is interesting to note that ethylene caused alterations in gene expression that are predicted to increase GA levels in the ein3-1 eil1-1 seedlings. These results indicate that ethylene affects GA levels leading to modulation of ethylene growth inhibition kinetics.

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