Ethylene influenced the conductance of abaxial stomata


Inhibition of photosynthesis by ethylene-a stomatal effect.

by Pallas J. E., Kays S. J. (1982)

  1. James E. Pallas Jr.
  2. Stanley J. Kays
  • United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Watkinsville, Georgia, USA
  • University of Georgia, Athens, USA


in Plant Physiol. 70, 598–601. – doi: 10.1104/pp.70.2.598 –

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google ScholarCrossRefPubMedCAS –


Ethylene at hormonally significant levels inhibited net photosynthesis of the cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) as measured by gas analysis. Upon the removal of ethylene, the inhibition was naturally overcome at the concentration-exposure duration combinations tested. Increased length of exposure of 1 microliter of ethylene per liter of air up to 6 hours increased the degree of net photosynthesis inhibition (68% reduction after 6-hour exposure).

Significantly greater inhibition of photosynthesis by ethylene was detected on peanut genotypes having higher photosynthetic efficiency. In contrast to peanut, hormonal concentrations of ethylene only moderately inhibited sweet potato, Jerusalem artichoke, and sunflower photosynthesis and was without effect on beans, peas, Irish potato, Mimosa pudica, and white clover.

No inhibition could be found by ethylene on ribulose 1,5-biphosphate carboxylase activity in vitro. Photosynthesis was lowered at all CO2concentrations below ambient at an O2 concentration of 1.5%, indicating that the action of ethylene was not affected by low O2; concomitantly, an increase in the CO2 compensation point occurred.

Diffusion resistance measurements of leaf water vapor loss made on ethylene-treated peanut leaves showed a measurable decrease in leaf conductance which correlated with net photosynthesis decrease. Ethylene influenced the conductance of abaxial stomata more so than adaxial.


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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