Ethylene and senescence processes
Graham, L. E., Schippers, J. H. M., Dijkwel, P. P. and Wagstaff, C. (2012) Ethylene and senescence processes. In: McManus, M. T. (ed.) The plant hormone ethylene. Annual plant reviews (44). Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 305-341, Chapter 12. ISBN 9781444330038
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/9781118223086.ch12
Senescence is a vitally important sequence of events in the latter phase of the life cycle of a plant that determines yield and reproductive success. In many species, and in different plant organs, ethylene is a key regulator of senescence and an increased understanding of the way the hormone functions will enable the timing and location of senescence to be manipulated in order to improve yield, quality and longevity. This chapter examines the physiological and molecular regulation of senescence in different plant organs and introduces the concept of the ‘senescence window’ in which plant organs are receptive to ethylene-mediated senescence cues. Several studies have attempted to elucidate global patterns of the regulation of senescence, which have enabled the function of ethylene to be placed in the context of the involvement of other, often antagonistic, hormones in the execution of senescence and downstream processes. Finally, we examine the consequences of senescence for post-harvest biology, an area where the control of ethylene action has been actively sought in order to control precisely the timing of senescence and ripening processes so that crop quality can be enhanced and maintained.