Effects of overproduced ethylene on the contents of other phytohormones and expression of their key biosynthetic genes

Plant Physiol Biochem. 2018 Jul:128:170-177. doi: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2018.05.013. Epub 2018 May 10.


Ethylene is involved in regulation of various aspects of plant growth and development. Physiological and genetic analyses have indicated the existence of crosstalk between ethylene and other phytohormones, including auxin, cytokinin (CK), abscisic acid (ABA), gibberellin (GA), salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), brassinosteroid (BR) and strigolactone (SL) in regulation of different developmental processes. However, the effects of ethylene on the biosynthesis and contents of these hormones are not fully understood. Here, we investigated how overproduction of ethylene may affect the contents of other plant hormones using the ethylene-overproducing mutant ethylene-overproducer 1 (eto1-1). The contents of various hormones and transcript levels of the associated biosynthetic genes in the 10-day-old Arabidopsis eto1-1 mutant and wild-type (WT) plants were determined and compared. Higher levels of CK and ABA, while lower levels of auxin, SA and GA were observed in eto1-1 plants in comparison with WT, which was supported by the up- or down-regulation of their biosynthetic genes. Although we could not quantify the BR and SL contents in Arabidopsis, we observed that the transcript levels of the potential rate-limiting BR and SL biosynthetic genes were increased in the eto1-1 versus WT plants, suggesting that BR and SL levels might be enhanced by ethylene overproduction. JA level was not affected by overproduction of ethylene, which might be explained by unaltered expression level of the proposed rate-limiting JA biosynthetic gene allene oxide synthase. Taken together, our results suggest that ET affects the levels of auxin, CK, ABA, SA and GA, and potentially BR and SL, by influencing the expression of genes involved in the rate-limiting steps of their biosynthesis.

Keywords: Arabidopsis; Biosynthetic genes; Crosstalk; Ethylene; Expression analysis; Hormone content.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis Proteins* / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins* / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis* / genetics
  • Arabidopsis* / metabolism
  • Ethylenes / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Mutation*
  • Plant Growth Regulators* / biosynthesis
  • Plant Growth Regulators* / genetics


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • ETO1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Ethylenes
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • ethylene