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by APBiologyJLHS
Last updated 8 years ago


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Ethylene is a clear gas that is known to have a "musky and sweet" aroma.Its chemical formula is C2H4.

"One rotten apple spoils the barrel."

Ethylene is triggered by high levels of stress or "wounding" to a fruit.

It is a widely used organic compound, as it is used in agriculture to speed up the ripening process of fruits.


The ligand, a molecule that binds various proteins to receptors, of ethylene is the ethylene hormone itself.

Receptors of ethylene found on the Endoplasmic Reticulum include:Ethylene Receptor 1 (ETR1), ETR2, Ethylene response sensor (ERS1), ERS2, and Ethylene insenstive 4 (EIN4).

EIN4 was the very first receptor that was researched, and it contains Histidine Kinase, a protein that acts as a cellular receptor.

First, ethylene binds to the ETR1, which inactivates CTR1 (constitutive triple response 1), a negative regulator or inhibitor of the pathway.

This activates EIN2, causing the signaling of EIN3 transcription factors where ERF1 (ethylene response factor 1) transcription is regulated, generating a response.

Without ethylene, CTR1 remains activated and inhibits the pathway.

Some of the cellular and organismal responses include:• Stimulation of faster ripening in fruit.• Stimulation of fruit aging.• Influence of leaf abscission (leaves falling off).• Influence of seed germination.• Influence on gravitropism (how a plant responds to gravity).• Seedling triple response (ethylene protects seedlings from damage by thickening the stem and root and fixing the leaves to grow horizontally instead of vertically).

Currently, research is being done on ethylene to determine what may cause it to change some foods' textures and flavors. Researchers figure that the levels of carbon dioxide may have something to do with this occurence, as well as temperature. Therefore, ethylene is beginning to be introduced more gradually rather than all at once to control carbon dioxide accumulation, and more products are being refrigerated or kept cool.


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