Journal Article

Current methods for detecting ethylene in plants

Simona M. Cristescu, Julien Mandon, Denis Arslanov, Jérôme De Pessemier, Christian Hermans and Frans J. M. Harren

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 111, issue 3, pages 347-360
Published in print March 2013 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online December 2012 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcs259
Current methods for detecting ethylene in plants

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Background

In view of ethylene's critical developmental and physiological roles the gaseous hormone remains an active research topic for plant biologists. Progress has been made to understand the ethylene biosynthesis pathway and the mechanisms of perception and action. Still numerous questions need to be answered and findings to be validated. Monitoring gas production will very often complete the picture of any ethylene research topic. Therefore the search for suitable ethylene measuring methods for various plant samples either in the field, greenhouses, laboratories or storage facilities is strongly motivated.

Scope

This review presents an update of the current methods for ethylene monitoring in plants. It focuses on the three most-used methods – gas chromatography detection, electrochemical sensing and optical detection – and compares them in terms of sensitivity, selectivity, time response and price. Guidelines are provided for proper selection and application of the described sensor methodologies and some specific applications are illustrated of laser-based detector for monitoring ethylene given off by Arabidopsis thaliana upon various nutritional treatments.

Conclusions

Each method has its advantages and limitations. The choice for the suitable ethylene sensor needs careful consideration and is driven by the requirements for a specific application.

Keywords: Ethylene; Arabidopsis thaliana; gas sampling; gas chromatography; electrochemical sensing; laser-based detector

Journal Article.  8666 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Physiology

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