Control of Ethylene Production in Flowers
Ethylene is one of the most important factors determining the lifespan of many flowers. In this project, we used diploid geranium flowers to investigate the control of ethylene production and its effects on the flower. Diploid geraniums have a single whorl of petals (usually 5 petals) and are highly sensitive to ethylene. Flowers treated with ethylene will abscise their petals in less than two hours. Pollination increases ethylene production in the flower and also results in petal abscission, but in this case in 3-4 hours. The biochemical pathway for ethylene is well known. Either of the last two steps in ethylene synthesis could be important for regulating ethylene production by the flower. These steps are catalyzed by the enzymes ACC synthase and ACC oxidase. We investigated the activity of these enzymes in pollinated geraniums.
Source: • American Floral Endowment Special Research Reports #404