Role of ethylene in cotyledon development of microspore-derived embryos of Brassica napus. Academic Article uri icon


  • Ethylene production during seed development in Brassica napus occurs first at 20 d after pollination (DAP), while a second greater peak occurs at 35 DAP. Because of the inaccessible location of the embryo within the maternal tissue, microspore-derived embryos (MDEs) of B. napus were used as a model for studying the role of ethylene during embryo development. The MDEs also produced a peak in ethylene evolution at 20 DAC (i.e. the early cotyledonary stage), dropping to minimal levels by 25-30 DAC. At 20 DAC the excised cotyledon evolved 85% of the ethylene found in the whole MDE. To determine the role of ethylene, MDEs were treated with aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG, an inhibitor of ethylene biosynthesis), CoCl(2) (an inhibitor of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) oxidase), and silver thiosulphate (STS, an inhibitor of ethylene action). An inhibition in ethylene production or action at 20 DAC resulted in diminished lateral cotyledon expansion, due to a reduction in the lateral expansion of cells within the cotyledon. Recovery to 'control-type' levels of cotyledon cell expansion was achieved by application of ACC (the metabolic precursor of ethylene) to AVG-treated MDEs. Thus, ethylene production at 20 DAP likely controls cotyledon expansion during embryo development.

published proceedings

  • J Exp Bot

author list (cited authors)

  • Hays, D. B., Reid, D. M., Yeung, E. C., & Pharis, R. P.

citation count

  • 31

complete list of authors

  • Hays, DB||Reid, DM||Yeung, EC||Pharis, RP

publication date

  • November 2000