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Ethylene levels are regulated by a plant encoded 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid deaminase

Authors

  • Lisa McDonnell,

    1. Department of Biology, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1S 5B6
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    • These two authors contributed equally to this work

  • Jonathan M. Plett,

    1. Department of Biology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, K7L 3N6
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    • These two authors contributed equally to this work

  • Sara Andersson-Gunnerås,

    1. Umeå Plant Science Center, Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, S-901 83, Umeå, Sweden
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  • Christopher Kozela,

    1. Department of Biology, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1S 5B6
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  • Jasper Dugardeyn,

    1. Ghent University, Department of Physiology, Unit Plant Hormone Signaling & Bioimaging, Ledeganckstraat 35, B-9000 Gent, Belgium
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  • Dominique Van Der Straeten,

    1. Ghent University, Department of Physiology, Unit Plant Hormone Signaling & Bioimaging, Ledeganckstraat 35, B-9000 Gent, Belgium
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  • Bernard R. Glick,

    1. Department of Biology, University of Waterloo 200 University Avenue W., Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, N2L 3 G1
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  • Björn Sundberg,

    1. Umeå Plant Science Center, Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, S-901 83, Umeå, Sweden
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  • Sharon Regan

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, K7L 3N6
      e-mail: regans@queensu.ca
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e-mail: regans@queensu.ca

Abstract

Control of the levels of the plant hormone ethylene is crucial in the regulation of many developmental processes and stress responses. Ethylene production can be controlled by altering endogenous levels of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), the immediate precursor to ethylene or by altering its conversion to ethylene. ACC is known to be irreversibly broken down by bacterial or fungal ACC deaminases (ACDs). Sequence analysis revealed two putative ACD genes encoded for in the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana (A. thaliana) and we detected ACD activity in plant extracts. Expression of one of these A. thaliana genes (AtACD1) in bacteria indicated that it had ACD activity. Moreover, transgenic plants harboring antisense constructs of the gene decreased ACD activity to 70% of wild-type (WT) levels, displayed an increased sensitivity to ACC and produced significantly more ethylene. Taken together, these results show that AtACD1 can act as a regulator of ACC levels in A. thaliana.

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