Monday, March 7, 2016

Ethephon for Commercial Farming

There are a several classes of important plant hormones that we have discussed this quarter. One of them is ethylene which helps with fruit ripening and leaf abscission. Ethylene is essentially a gas which the fruits on plants emit in order to speed the ripening fruit. Some fruits produce more ethylene gas than others. For example, bananas produce a lot. So, if you want your fruit to last a long time don’t put the bananas in the fruit bowl! The affects of ethylene on plants has been utilized in commercial farming. I found it interesting that they have even developed aqueous chemicals (rather than direct ethylene gas) that can be sprayed on plants to induce ethylene production. Pretty clever. Here is an article discussing the main properties behind one such spray, ethephon.

-Veronica Russell

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