Current and Potential Commercial Applications of Suppression of Ethylene Action by 1-MCP in Plants.
Mark L. Dahmer, Alan W. Green, Jason L. Alford, Hector J. Tassara, R. Lynn Oakes, Edward C. Kostansek, and Tim Malefyt. AgroFresh, Inc., 20232 East Lake Avenue, Centennial, CO 80016
Ethylene is known to play a central role as the hormonal trigger for many of the physiological processes necessary for fruit maturation and ripening. The continuation of these same processes can lead to economic losses during harvest and storage. Improved storage technologies based on the ethylene action inhibitor 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) have proven an effective way of managing ethylene-regulated phenomena in both climacteric and non-climacteric fruits, vegetables and floral crops. Thus, the commercial use of 1-MCP is creating new standards of quality and freshness for fruit and flower growers, processors, and retailers. Ethylene also regulates key steps in reproductive development, programmed cell death, and stress signaling in the major agronomic crops. Premature seed or fruit abortion and/or leaf senescence may occur in response to an ethylene signal triggered by biotic or abiotic stresses. Suppressing the action of stress-induced ethylene signals with 1-MCP offers benefits such as increased seed or fruit set (sink effects) and delayed senescence of photosynthetic tissues (source effects). The potential translation of these effects into yield increases in crop plants - such as corn, cotton, and soybean - through the timely application of 1-MCP is being investigated at AgroFresh and through several public/private partnerships. Practical considerations for 1-MCP use and how interactions between environmental stresses and plant developmental events influence the observed benefits of 1-MCP treatment will be discussed.