Temperature-Induced Changes in Ethylene Production and Implications for Post-Harvest Physiology

  • Roger J. Field
  • Peter M. Barrowclough
Part of the Advances in Agricultural Biotechnology book series (AABI, volume 26)


Low temperature (2–5°C) treatment of bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) leaf discs and carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L.) flowers resulted in virtual cessation of ethylene production. Returning tissues to higher temperatures (20–25°C) stimulated rapid and high levels of ethylene production in bean leaf discs, while there was a substantial lag period in the non-wounded carnation flowers. Low temperature exposure prevented the production of the ethylene synthesis intermediate 1-aminocyclopropane-l-carboxylic acid (ACC). In bean leaf tissue, there was rapid ACC synthesis on warming and conversion to ethylene. Consideration is given to the nature of the mechanism preventing ACC synthesis at low temperature, the process whereby ACC production may be induced within 10 min of warming and the nature of the mechanism whereby low temperature treated tissues may store the potential for high level, ‘overshoot’ ethylene production which is expressed only on warming. All these factors have a potential to influence the post-harvest characteristics of commodities that have been coolstored after harvest. The changes induced by coolstorage of carnation flowers are considered in detail.


Leaf Disc Ethylene Production Vase Life Bean Leaf Carnation Flower 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger J. Field
    • 1
  • Peter M. Barrowclough
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Science DepartmentLincoln CollegeCanterburyNew Zealand

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