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Ethylene and 1-methylcyclopropene differentially regulate gene expression during onion sprout suppression

Cools, K., Chope, G. A., Hammond, J. P. ORCID:, Thompson, A. J. and Terry, L. A. (2011) Ethylene and 1-methylcyclopropene differentially regulate gene expression during onion sprout suppression. Plant Physiology, 156 (3). pp. 1639-1652. ISSN 0032-0889

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1104/pp.111.174979


Onion (Allium cepa) is regarded as a nonclimacteric vegetable. In onions, however, ethylene can suppress sprouting while the ethylene-binding inhibitor 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) can also suppress sprout growth; yet, it is unknown how ethylene and 1-MCP elicit the same response. In this study, onions were treated with 10 mu L L(-1) ethylene or 1 mu L L(-1) 1-MCP individually or in combination for 24 h at 20 degrees C before or after curing (6 weeks) at 20 degrees C or 28 degrees C and then stored at 1 degrees C. Following curing, a subset of these same onions was stored separately under continuous air or ethylene (10 mu L L(-1)) at 1 degrees C. Onions treated with ethylene and 1-MCP in combination after curing for 24 h had reduced sprout growth as compared with the control 25 weeks after harvest. Sprout growth following storage beyond 25 weeks was only reduced through continuous ethylene treatment. This observation was supported by a higher proportion of down-regulated genes characterized as being involved in photosynthesis, measured using a newly developed onion microarray. Physiological and biochemical data suggested that ethylene was being perceived in the presence of 1-MCP, since sprout growth was reduced in onions treated with 1-MCP and ethylene applied in combination but not when applied individually. A cluster of probes representing transcripts up-regulated by 1-MCP alone but down-regulated by ethylene alone or in the presence of 1-MCP support this suggestion. Ethylene and 1-MCP both down-regulated a probe tentatively annotated as an ethylene receptor as well as ethylene-insensitive 3, suggesting that both treatments down-regulate the perception and signaling events of ethylene.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Food Security
Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Crop Science
ID Code:33851
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ethylene 1-Methylcyclopropene gene expression onion Allium cepa sprout suppression
Publisher:American Society of Plant Biologists


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