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Planta. 2005 Jan;220(3):403-13. Epub 2004 Sep 2.

An auxin-responsive 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthase is responsible for differential ethylene production in gravistimulated Antirrhinum majus L. flower stems.

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Agrotechnology and Food Innovations, Wageningen University and Research Center, PO BOX 17, 6700 AA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.


The regulation of gravistimulation-induced ethylene production and its role in gravitropic bending was studied in Antirrhinum majus L. cut flower stems. Gravistimulation increased ethylene production in both lower and upper halves of the stems with much higher levels observed in the lower half. Expression patterns of three different 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) synthase (ACS) genes, an ACC oxidase (ACO) and an ethylene receptor (ETR/ERS homolog) gene were studied in the bending zone of gravistimulated stems and in excised stem sections following treatment with different chemicals. One of the ACS genes (Am-ACS3) was abundantly expressed in the bending zone cortex at the lower side of the stems within 2 h of gravistimulation. Am-ACS3 was not expressed in vertical stems or in other parts of (gravistimulated) stems, leaves or flowers. Am-ACS3 was strongly induced by indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) but not responsive to ethylene. The Am-ACS3 expression pattern strongly suggests that Am-ACS3 is responsible for the observed differential ethylene production in gravistimulated stems; its responsiveness to IAA suggests that Am-ACS3 expression reflects changes in auxin signalling. Am-ACS1 also showed increased expression in gravistimulated and IAA-treated stems although to a much lesser extent than Am-ACS3. In contrast to Am-ACS3, Am-ACS1 was also expressed in non-bending regions of vertical and gravistimulated stems and in leaves, and Am-ACS1 expression was not confined to the lower side cortex but evenly distributed over the diameter of the stem. Am-ACO and Am-ETR/ERS expression was increased in both the lower and upper halves of gravistimulated stems. Expression of both Am-ACO and Am-ETR/ERS was responsive to ethylene, suggesting regulation by IAA-dependent differential ethylene production. Am-ACO expression and in vivo ACO activity, in addition, were induced by IAA, independent of the IAA-induced ethylene. IAA-induced growth of vertical stem sections and bending of gravistimulated flowering stems were little affected by ethylene or 1-methylcyclopropene treatments, indicating that the differential ethylene production plays no pivotal role in the kinetics of gravitropic bending.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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