Changes of Respiration Rate, Ethylene Evolution, and Abscisic Acid Content in Developing Inflorescence and Young Fruit of Olive (Olea europaea L. cv. Konservolia)
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Simultaneous measurements of respiration, ethylene production, and abscisic acid (ABA) concentrations, as well as the growth parameters length, fresh weight (FW), and dry weight (DW) of olive (Olea europaea L. cv. Konservolia) inflorescence were carried out at short intervals (3–7 days) during the period from bud burst until the 3rd week after full bloom (AFB), when young fruit reached 8 mm in length. The axis of inflorescence elongated remarkably during the 3rd week after bud burst (ABB), massive bract shedding occurred during the 4th week ABB, full bloom (FB) was observed 7 weeks ABB, and massive floral organ abscission 1 week AFB. The results showed a continuous increase in inflorescence FW and DW from bud burst until 4 days before FB. Respiration rate, ethylene production, and levels of ABA were relatively high during the first 3 weeks ABB. After this period, respiration and ethylene followed a similar pattern of changes, inversely to that of ABA concentration. An accumulation of inflorescence ABA 6 and 4 days before FB was associated with the minimum values of respiration and ethylene production on the same dates. The sharp decrease in the ABA concentration during FB and 3 days later was followed by a high rise in ethylene and an increase in respiration rate, which both rose further 1 week AFB. The results suggest a possible correlation of ABA with the early stage of floral abscission, whereas ethylene production seems to be correlated with the terminal separatory activity in olive inflorescence abscission processes.
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