Ethylene-dependent and -independent Regulation of Abscission

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Purpose of review: This review focuses on recent research on the control of abscission, highlighting ethylene dependent and independent mechanisms.

Findings: Abscission is the loss of organs such as fruit, leaves and floral organs. Ethylene has long been recognised as one of the most important factors controlling abscission. However, abscission is also controlled by a complex network of factors not related to ethylene, including auxin, jasmonic acid and peptides. Recent increased understandings of the nature of both ethylene-dependent and independent abscission control are expected to suggest more refined methods for abscission control in horticultural plants.

Directions for future research: A more detailed understanding of signalling cascades and interactions between diverse signals for abscission is needed. This knowledge will permit development of more precise methods to modulate pre- and postharvest abscission.

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