, Volume 219, Issue 2, pp 243–252 | Cite as

Molecular and physiological evidence suggests the existence of a system II-like pathway of ethylene production in non-climacteric Citrus fruit

  • Ehud Katz
  • Paulino Martinez Lagunes
  • Joseph Riov
  • David Weiss
  • Eliezer E. GoldschmidtEmail author
Original Article


Mature citrus fruits, which are classified as non-climacteric, evolve very low amounts of ethylene during ripening but respond to exogenous ethylene by ripening-related pigment changes and accelerated respiration. In the present study we show that young citrus fruitlets attached to the tree produce high levels of ethylene, which decrease dramatically towards maturation. Upon harvest, fruitlets exhibited a climacteric-like rise in ethylene production, preceded by induction of the genes for 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) synthase 1 (CsACS1), ACC oxidase 1 (CsACO1) and the ethylene receptor CsERS1. This induction was advanced and augmented by exogenous ethylene or propylene, indicating an autocatalytic system II-like ethylene biosynthesis. In mature, detached fruit, very low rates of ethylene production were associated with constitutive expression of the ACC synthase 2 (CsACS2) and ethylene receptor CsETR1 genes (system I). CsACS1 gene expression was undetectable at this stage, even following ethylene or propylene treatment, and CsERS1 gene expression remained constant, indicating that no autocatalytic response had occurred. The transition from system II-like behavior of young fruitlets to system I behavior appears to be under developmental control.


1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthase 1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate oxidase Citrus fruit Ethylene Non-climacteric fruit System I and II 





ACC synthase


ACC oxidase


Ethylene receptors


Days after full bloom





Thanks are due to Prof. Donald Grierson (University of Nottingham, UK) for critical reading of the manuscript. The financial support through a fellowship to E.K. by the Israeli Citrus Marketing Board is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ehud Katz
    • 1
  • Paulino Martinez Lagunes
    • 1
  • Joseph Riov
    • 1
  • David Weiss
    • 1
  • Eliezer E. Goldschmidt
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.The Robert H. Smith Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality SciencesThe Hebrew University of JerusalemRehovotIsrael

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