This program is involved in basic research on how plant hormones act. Mostly, the hormone ethylene is involved. It involves an attempt to understand how ethylene interacts with its receptor, and the information is subsequently transferred to action (growth, ripening, etc). At the present time, it is possible to measure binding to the receptor. Three different binding sites have been identified. Research is being conducted to determine if one or all of these are the receptor. An extensive investigation has been done on the binding of olefins other than ethelene to the receptor. Strained olefins will bind to the receptor and block ethylene responses. Some of these block for only a short time, but very strained olefins bind for much longer times. A single exposure to as little as 0.5 nL/L of some of the strained olefins will render plants insensitive to ethylene for 12 days at room temperature, then they become sensitive to ethylene again. Research is being conducted to find additional blocking compoundsand to learn how these compounds are acting. At present, 1-Methylcyclopropene seems to be the best compound for practical use and it may also serve as a radioactive label for the receptor.
Serek, M., Sisler, E.C. and Reid, M.S. (1995) Effects of 1-MCP on the vase life and ethylene response on cut flowers. Plant Growth Reg. 16: 93-97
Sisler, E.C., Serek, M. and Dupille, E. (1996) Comparison of cyclopropene, 1- methylcyclopropene, and 3,3-dimethylcyclopropene as an ethylene antagonist in plants. Plant Growth Reg. 18:169-175
Sisler, E.C.,Dupille, E. and Serek, M.(1996)Effect of 1-methylcyclopropene and methylenecyclopropene on ethylene binding and ethylene action on cut carnations. Plant Growth Reg. 18-86
Sisler, E.C., Serek, M. and Dupille, E. (1996) Novel gaseous inhibitor of ethylene action 1-methylcyclopropene improves the postharvest life of bananas. Proc. First Internat. Conf. On Bananas and Plantations for Africa, October 14-18, Kampala Uganda
Sisler, E.C. and Serek, M. (1997) Inhibitors of ethylene responses in plants at the receptor level: Recent developments. Phys. Plant. 100: 577-582