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Effect of plant growth regulators on ethylene production, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase activity, and initiation of inflorescence development of pineapple


With the development of pineapple [Ananas comosus (L.) Merr.] as a fresh fruit crop, it became common to force inflorescence development with ethephon [(2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid] or ethylene throughout the year. Environmental induction (EI) of inflorescence development disrupts scheduling of fruit harvest and may cause significant losses if small plants are induced, resulting in fruits that are too small to be marketable. Our objective was to identify plant growth regulators (PGRs) that could inhibit EI. Because circumstantial evidence indicates that EI occurs in response to naturally produced ethylene or changes in plant sensitivity to it, most work was done with PGRs that inhibit ethylene biosynthesis or block ethylene action. The synthetic auxin 2-(3-chlorophenoxy)propionic acid (CPA) was included because in one study it reduced the percentage of EI. GA3, aminooxyacetic acid (AOA), aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG), daminozide [butanedioic acid mono-(2,2-dimethylhydrazide)], and silver thiosulfate (STS) had no effect on EL CPA, paclobutrazol [(2RS,3RS)-1-(4-chlorophenyl)methyl-4,4-dimethyl-2(1h-1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)penten-3-ol], and uniconazole [(E)-(p-chlorophenyl)-4,4-dimethyl-2-(1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)-1-penten-3-ol] delayed or inhibited EI of pot-grown pineapple plants. Uniconazole and paclobutrazol inhibited growth and ethylene production by leaf basal-white tissue, and either or both effects could account for the inhibition of EI. Production of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) was unaffected by these compounds, but the activity of ACC oxidase, which converts ACC to ethylene, was inhibited and probably accounts for the reduced ethylene production by leaf basal-white tissue. CPA stimulated ethylene production by stem apical tissue approximately fourfold relative to the control. ACC oxidase activity and the malonyl-ACC (MACC) content in stem apical tissue were also greater than in the control, indicating that CPA greatly stimulated the production of ACC and its sequestration into MACC. The mechanism by which CPA delayed or inhibited EI is not known. CPA, paclobutrazol, and uniconazole appear to have some potential for inhibiting EI of pineapple. Their effect on yield needs to be determined.

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ACC oxidase:

1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase


2-(3-chlorophenoxy)propionic acid


aminooxyacetic acid




butanedioic acid mono-(2,2-dimethylhydrazide)


dry mass


[(2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid]


fresh mass




environmental induction of inflorescence development


inflorescence appearance


Fisher's protected least significant difference




naphthaleneacetic acid


plant growth regulator






silver thiosulfate


fourth leaf


first leaf younger than M-leaf


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Correspondence to D. P. Bartholomew.

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Min, X., Bartholomew, D.P. Effect of plant growth regulators on ethylene production, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase activity, and initiation of inflorescence development of pineapple. J Plant Growth Regul 15, 121 (1996).

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Key Words

  • Pineapple flower induction
  • Paclobutrazol
  • Uniconazole
  • Ethylene production