Treatment of 5- to 6-day-old etiolated pea (Pisum sativum L.) seedlings with indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) induced within 15 min an increase in the transcript levels of two genes encoding 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) synthase, Ps-ACS1 and Ps-ACS2. Simultaneous treatment with ethylene inhibited this increase and also caused a decrease in ACC synthase enzyme activity as compared to that of seedlings treated with IAA alone. These results indicate that ethylene inhibits its own biosynthesis by decreasing ACC synthase transcript levels via a negative feedback loop. Wounding of pea stems had no effect on the expression of Ps-ACS1, but led within 10 min to an increase in the mRNA levels of Ps-ACS2. This increase was also inhibited by ethylene. The wound signal was transmitted over a distance of at least 4 cm through the stem with no delay in induction or response intensity. The rapid transmission of the wound response is consistent with the possibility that a hydraulic or electric signal is responsible for the spread of the wound response.