Ethylene and Carbon Dioxide Exchange in Leaves and Whole Plants

  • Bernard Grodzinski
  • Lorna Woodrow
Part of the Advances in Agricultural Biotechnology book series (AABI, volume 26)


The stimulatory effect of CO2 on ethylene evolution from photosynthetically active excised and intact leaf tissue of both C3 and C4 plants is now well documented (Dhawan, Bassi, and Spencer, 1981; Fuhrer, 1983; Grodzinski, Boesel, and Horton, 1982a, b; 1983; Grodzinski, 1984; Kao and Yang, 1982; Woodrow and Grodzinski, 1987). The range of CO2 concentrations over which ethylene release is most responsive, 50 to 1500 ul L−1, coincides with those encountered by leaf tissue in sealed greenhouse environments under conditions of CO2 depletion or CO2 enrichment (Porter and Grodzinski, 1985; Woodrow and Grodzinski, 1987). Interestingly the current global CO2 levels and the predicted future elevated concentrations also fall within this range. Because the stimulation of ethylene release by elevated CO2 is direct and readily reversible (Grodzinski et al., 1982a, b; 1983) in both C3 and C4 plants we originally suggested that CO2 may stimulate the synthesis of ACC or ethylene and/or affect the retention and metabolism of ethylene (Grodzinski et al., 1982a,b). Nilsen and Hodges (1983) and Fuhrer (1985) also present data which support the concept of retention as a mechanism of the CO2 effect. Alternately Kao and Yang (1982) favour the view that the ACC to ethylene conversion step is directly affected by CO2. Incubations of leaf tissue at high CO2 concentrations have also resulted in increased ethylene-forming enzyme content (Philosoph-Hadas, Aharoni, and Yang, 1986).


Ethylene Evolution Leaf Position Endogenous Ethylene Carbon Dioxide Exchange Ethephon Treatment 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernard Grodzinski
    • 1
  • Lorna Woodrow
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Horticultural ScienceUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  2. 2.Research StationAgriculture CanadaHarrowCanada

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