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Plant Physiol. 1983 Oct;73(2):413-7.

Ethylene-induced lateral expansion in etiolated pea stems : the role of Acid secretion.

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Biology Department, Thimann Laboratories, University of California, Santa Cruz, California 95064.


Ethylene-induced inhibition of elongation and promotion of lateral expansion in the stems of etiolated pea (Pisum sativum L. var Alaska) seedlings is not associated with any alteration of auxin-stimulated proton extrusion. Indeed, lateral expansion in response to ethylene apparently requires an acidified wall since it is prevented by strong neutral buffers and by the ATPase inhibitor orthovanadate. Ethylene treatment reduces the capacity of live and frozen-thawed sections to extend in the longitudinal direction in response to acid. The effect of ethylene on lateral acid growth capacity is more complicated. Ethylene-treated internodes do not exhibit acid-induced lateral expansion. Ethylene-treated segments which have been frozen-thawed do show an enhanced capacity to extend in the transverse direction at acid pH, but only when the inner tissues have been removed by coring. We conclude that two of the factors which control the directionality of expansion during ethylene treatment are a decrease in the sensitivity of the walls to acid longitudinally and an increase in the sensitivity of the outer cortical parenchyma walls to acid in the transverse direction.

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