Role of ethylene and jasmonic acid on rhizome induction and growth in rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum L.)

  • Usha P. Rayirath
  • Rajasekaran R. LadaEmail author
  • Claude D. Caldwell
  • Samuel K. Asiedu
  • Kevin J. Sibley
Original Paper


Experiments were conducted to elucidate the hormonal induction and regulation of rhizome growth in rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum L.). It was found that ethylene is the key regulator of rhizome induction and development. The role of jasmonic acid (JA) and its interaction with ethylene in rhizome induction and growth were also examined. Both ethylene and JA have a significant effect on promoting rhizome formation in vitro. Conversely, the ethylene biosynthesis inhibitor aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) (1.5 μM) inhibited rhizome induction in multiple-shoot clumps in vitro, and suppressed the stimulatory effects of exogenously applied ethephon (1 mg l−1) and JA (10 ng l−1) in promoting mini-rhizome formation, further confirming the role of endogenous ethylene in the process. In addition, rhizome growth was significantly enhanced in the presence of both ethylene and JA (ethephon 1 mg l−1 and JA 10 ng l−1) compared to JA alone. These results suggest that endogenous ethylene is the key regulator of rhizome growth in rhubarb and JA promotes rhizome formation, possibly through inducing endogenous ethylene synthesis.


Ethylene Jasmonic acid Hormonal induction Growth Mini-rhizome Rhubarb 



Jasmonic acid


1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid




Plant growth regulators



Financial support from AgriFocus 2000—Technology Development Program (Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Fisheries) and Knol Farms Ltd., Nova Scotia, Canada, to Dr. Lada is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Usha P. Rayirath
    • 1
  • Rajasekaran R. Lada
    • 1
    Email author
  • Claude D. Caldwell
    • 1
  • Samuel K. Asiedu
    • 1
  • Kevin J. Sibley
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plant and Animal SciencesNova Scotia Agricultural CollegeTruroCanada
  2. 2.Department of Environmental SciencesNova Scotia Agricultural CollegeTruroCanada

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