Journal Article

The<i> M </i>Locus and Ethylene-Controlled Sex Determination in Andromonoecious Cucumber Plants

Seiji Yamasaki, Nobuharu Fujii, Seiji Matsuura, Hidemasa Mizusawa and Hideyuki Takahashi

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 42, issue 6, pages 608-619
Published in print June 2001 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online June 2001 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
The M Locus and Ethylene-Controlled Sex Determination in Andromonoecious Cucumber Plants

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Sex determination in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants is genetically controlled by the F and M loci. These loci interact to produce three different sexual phenotypes: gynoecious (M-F-), monoecious (M-ff), and andromonoecious (mmff). Gynoecious cucumber plants produce more ethylene than do monoecious plants. We found that the levels of ethylene production and the accumulation of CS-ACS2 mRNA in andromonoecious cucumber plants did not differ from those in monoecious plants and were lower than the levels measured in gynoecious plants. Ethylene inhibited stamen development in gynoecious cucumbers but not in andromonoecious ones. Furthermore, ethylene caused substantial increases in the accumulation of CS-ETR2, CS-ERS, and CS-ACS2 mRNA in monoecious and gynoecious cucumber plants, but not in andromonoecious one. In addition, the inhibitory effect of ethylene on hypocotyl elongation in andromonoecious cucumber plants was less than that in monoecious and gynoecious plants. These results suggest that ethylene responses in andromonoecious cucumber plants are reduced from those in monoecious and gynoecious plants. This is the first evidence that ethylene signals may influence the product of the M locus and thus inhibit stamen development in cucumber. The andromonoecious line provides novel material for studying the function of the M locus during sex determination in flowering cucumbers.

Keywords: Key words: Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) — CS-ACS2 — CS-ETR2 — CS-ERS — Ethylene — M locus — Sex expression.; Abbreviations: ACC, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate; RT-PCR, reverse transcriptional polymerase chain reaction.

Journal Article.  8164 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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