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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Mar 18;94(6):2756-61.

Ethylene can stimulate Arabidopsis hypocotyl elongation in the light.

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Laboratorium voor Genetica, Departement Genetica, Vlaams Interuniversitair Instituut voor Biotechnologie, Universiteit Gent, K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35, B-9000 Gent, Belgium.


Ethylene inhibits hypocotyl elongation in etiolated Arabidopsis seedlings. However, when Arabidopsis was grown in the light in the presence of ethylene or its precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), a marked induction of hypocotyl elongation occurred. This resulted from an increase in cell expansion rather than cell division. The effects of ethylene and ACC were antagonized by the ethylene action inhibitor Ag+. The elongation response was absent or weakened in a set of ethylene-insensitive mutants (etr1-3, ein2-1, ein3-1, ein4, ain1-10, ein7). With the exception of ein4, the degree of inhibition of hypocotyl elongation was correlated with the strength of the ethylene-insensitive phenotype based on the triple response assay. In addition, the constitutive ethylene response mutant ctr1-1, grown in the light, had a longer hypocotyl than the wild type. Exogenous auxin also induced hypocotyl elongation in light-grown Arabidopsis. Again, the response was abolished by treatment with Ag+, suggesting that ethylene might be a mediator. The results showed that, depending on light conditions, ethylene can induce opposite effects on cell expansion in Arabidopsis hypocotyls.

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