Ethylene production and floral senescence following compatible and incompatible pollinations were studied in a self-incompatible species, Petunia inflata. Both compatible and incompatible pollinations resulted in a burst of ethylene synthesis that peaked 3 hours after pollination. P. inflata pollen was found to carry large amounts of the ethylene precursor, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC). The amount of pollen-held ACC varied in different genetic backgrounds, and the magnitude of the peak correlated with the amount of ACC borne by the pollen. Aminooxyacetic acid (AOA), an inhibitor of ACC synthesis, had no inhibitory effect on this ethylene response, indicating that pollen-borne ACC was largely responsible for the early synthesis of ethylene. After compatible pollination, a second increase in ethylene synthesis began at 18 hours, and the first sign of senescence appeared at 36 hours. Upon treatment with AOA, the second phase of ethylene production was reduced by 95%, indicating that endogenous ACC synthesis was required for this phase of ethylene synthesis. AOA treatment also delayed senescence to 6 days after anthesis. After incompatible pollination, a second increase in ethylene production did not occur until 3 days, and the first sign of senescence occurred 12 hours later. Unpollinated flowers showed an increase in ethylene production 3 to 4 days after anthesis and displayed signs of senescence 1 day later. The significance of the early and late phases of pollination-induced ethylene synthesis is discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science