Genetic analysis of ethylene signal transduction in Arabidopsis thaliana: five novel mutant loci integrated into a stress response pathway

Genetics. 1995 Mar;139(3):1393-409.


The response of Arabidopsis thaliana etiolated seedlings to the plant hormone ethylene is a conspicuous phenotype known as the triple response. We have identified genes that are required for ethylene perception and responses by isolating mutants that fail to display a triple response in the presence of exogenous ethylene. Five new complementation groups have been identified. Four of these loci, designated ein4, ein5, ein6 and ein7, are insensitive to ethylene. The fifth complementation group, eir1, is defined by a novel class of mutants that have agravitropic and ethylene-insensitive roots. Double-mutant phenotypes have allowed the positioning of these loci in a genetic pathway for ethylene signal transduction. The ethylene-response pathway is defined by the following loci: ETR1, EIN4, CTR1, EIN2, EIN3, EIN5, EIN6, EIN7, EIR1, AUX1 and HLS1. ctr1-1 is epistatic to etr1-3 and ein4, indicating that CTR1 acts after both ETR1 and EIN4 in the ethylene-response pathway. Mutations at the EIN2, EIN3, EIN5, EIN6 and EIN7 loci are all epistatic to the ctr1 seedling phenotype. The EIR1 and AUX1 loci define a root-specific ethylene response that does not require EIN3 or EIN5 gene activity. HLS1 appears to be required for differential cell growth in the apical hook. The EIR1, AUX1 and HLS1 genes may function in the interactions between ethylene and other plant hormones that occur late in the signaling pathway of this simple gas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / drug effects
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Ethylenes / pharmacology*
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Mutagenesis
  • Phenotype
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*


  • Ethylenes
  • ethylene