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      Combating Spring Frost With Ethylene


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          The sustainable fruit production in temperate and boreal regions is often imperiled by spring frosts. The risk of frost damage and the resulting economic losses have been increasing in the recent years as a result of the global climate change. Among the many approaches in mitigating frost damages, an ethylene-based compound, ethephon has proven to be effective in delaying bloom time in many fruit species and, thereby, avoid frost damage. However, effective concentrations of ethephon are often associated with harmful effects on fruit trees, which largely limit its use. Relatively, limited research attention has been given to understand the mechanisms underlying this ethylene-mediated bloom delay, thus hindering the progress in exploring its potential in frost protection. Recent advances in omics and bioinformatics have facilitated the identification of critical molecular and biochemical pathways that govern the progression of bud dormancy in deciduous woody perennials. In this review, we summarized our current understanding of the function of ethylene and its interaction with other networks in modulating dormancy and blooming in temperate fruit trees. Some possible mechanisms are also proposed that might potentially guide future studies attempting to decipher the dormancy regulation or searching for methods to alleviate frost damages.

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          Most cited references64

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          Epigenetic regulation of stress responses in plants.

          Gene expression driven by developmental and stress cues often depends on nucleosome histone post-translational modifications and sometimes on DNA methylation. A number of studies have shown that these DNA and histone modifications play a key role in gene expression and plant development under stress. Most of these stress-induced modifications are reset to the basal level once the stress is relieved, while some of the modifications may be stable, that is, may be carried forward as 'stress memory' and may be inherited across mitotic or even meiotic cell divisions. Epigenetic stress memory may help plants more effectively cope with subsequent stresses. Comparative studies on stress-responsive epigenomes and transcriptomes will enhance our understanding of stress adaptation of plants.
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            Ethylene: a gaseous signal molecule in plants.

            Ethylene regulates a multitude of plant processes, ranging from seed germination to organ senescence. Of particular economic importance is the role of ethylene as an inducer of fruit ripening. Ethylene is synthesized from S-adenosyl-L-methionine via 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC). The enzymes catalyzing the two reactions in this pathway are ACC synthase and ACC oxidase. Environmental and endogenous signals regulate ethylene biosynthesis primarily through differential expression of ACC synthase genes. Components of the ethylene signal transduction pathway have been identified by characterization of ethylene-response mutants in Arabidopsis thaliana. One class of mutations, exemplified by etr1, led to the identification of the ethylene receptors, which turned out to be related to bacterial two-component signaling systems. Mutations that eliminate ethylene binding to the receptor yield a dominant, ethylene-insensitive phenotype. CTR1 encodes a Raf-like Ser/Thr protein kinase that acts downstream from the ethylene receptor and may be part of a MAP kinase cascade. Mutants in CTR1 exhibit a constitutive ethylene-response phenotype. Both the ethylene receptors and CTR1 are negative regulators of ethylene responses. EIN2 and EIN3 are epistatic to CTR1, and mutations in either gene lead to ethylene insensitivity. Whereas the function of EIN2 in ethylene transduction is not known, EIN3 is a putative transcription factor involved in regulating expression of ethylene-responsive genes. Biotechnological modifications of ethylene synthesis and of sensitivity to ethylene are promising methods to prevent spoilage of agricultural products such as fruits, whose ripening is induced by ethylene.
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              A molecular timetable for apical bud formation and dormancy induction in poplar.

              The growth of perennial plants in the temperate zone alternates with periods of dormancy that are typically initiated during bud development in autumn. In a systems biology approach to unravel the underlying molecular program of apical bud development in poplar (Populus tremula x Populus alba), combined transcript and metabolite profiling were applied to a high-resolution time course from short-day induction to complete dormancy. Metabolite and gene expression dynamics were used to reconstruct the temporal sequence of events during bud development. Importantly, bud development could be dissected into bud formation, acclimation to dehydration and cold, and dormancy. To each of these processes, specific sets of regulatory and marker genes and metabolites are associated and provide a reference frame for future functional studies. Light, ethylene, and abscisic acid signal transduction pathways consecutively control bud development by setting, modifying, or terminating these processes. Ethylene signal transduction is positioned temporally between light and abscisic acid signals and is putatively activated by transiently low hexose pools. The timing and place of cell proliferation arrest (related to dormancy) and of the accumulation of storage compounds (related to acclimation processes) were established within the bud by electron microscopy. Finally, the identification of a large set of genes commonly expressed during the growth-to-dormancy transitions in poplar apical buds, cambium, or Arabidopsis thaliana seeds suggests parallels in the underlying molecular mechanisms in different plant organs.

                Author and article information

                Front Plant Sci
                Front Plant Sci
                Front. Plant Sci.
                Frontiers in Plant Science
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                30 October 2019
                : 10
                : 1408
                [1]Alson H. Smith Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech , Winchester, VA, United States
                Author notes

                Edited by: Isabel Lara, Universitat de Lleida, Spain

                Reviewed by: Gilbert Neuner, University of Innsbruck, Austria; Klára Kosová, Crop Research Institute (CRI), Czechia

                *Correspondence: Sherif M. Sherif, ssherif@ 123456vt.edu

                This article was submitted to Plant Abiotic Stress, a section of the journal Frontiers in Plant Science

                Copyright © 2019 Liu and Sherif

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 06 September 2019
                : 10 October 2019
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 67, Pages: 6, Words: 3292
                Plant Science
                Mini Review

                Plant science & Botany
                spring frost,temperate fruits,deciduous woody perennials,bud dormancy,hormone signalling,ethylene


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