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J Plant Physiol. 2015 Jan 15;173:116-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jplph.2014.08.014. Epub 2014 Sep 6.

Pollination increases ethylene production in Lilium hybrida cv. Brindisi flowers but does not affect the time to tepal senescence or tepal abscission.

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Consiglio per la Ricerca e la Sperimentazione in Agricoltura (CRA-VIV), Via dei Fiori 8, 51012 Pescia, Italy.
Mann Laboratory, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA. Electronic address:


In many species, pollination induces a rapid increase in ethylene production, which induces early petal senescence, petal abscission, or flower closure. Cross-pollination in Lilium hybrida cv. Brindisi resulted in a small increase in flower ethylene production. In intact plants and in isolated flowers, pollination had no effect on the time to tepal senescence or tepal abscission. When applied to closed buds of unpollinated flowers, exogenous ethylene slightly hastened the time to tepal senescence and abscission. However, exogenous ethylene had no effect when the flowers had just opened, i.e. at the time of pollination. Experiments with silver thiosulphate, which blocks the ethylene receptor, indicated that endogenous ethylene had a slight effect on the regulation of tepal senescence and tepal abscission, although only at the time the tepals were still inside buds and not in open flowers. Low ethylene-sensitivity after anthesis therefore explains why pollination had no effect on the processes studied.


Abscission; Ethylene; Pollination; Senescence; Tepal

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