Rapid Kinetic Analysis of Ethylene Growth Responses in Seedlings: New Insights into Ethylene Signal Transduction

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Ethylene is a phytohormone that influences diverse processes in plants. Ethylene causes various changes in etiolated seedlings that differ between species and include reduced growth of shoots and roots, increased diameter of shoots, agravitropic growth, initiation of root hairs, and increased curvature of the apical hook. The inhibition of growth in etiolated seedlings has become widely used to screen for and identify mutants. This approach has led to an increased understanding of ethylene signaling. Most studies use end-point analysis after several days of exposure to assess the effects of ethylene. Recently, the use of time-lapse imaging has re-emerged as an experimental method to study the rapid kinetics of ethylene responses. This review outlines the historical use of ethylene growth kinetic studies and summarizes the recent use of this approach coupled with molecular biology to provide new insights into ethylene signaling.

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