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Drought and re-watering modify ethylene production and sensitivity, and are associated with coffee anthesis
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  • Andre Lima,
  • Iasminy Santos,
  • Marlon Lopez,
  • Carlos Cardon,
  • Cecilio Frois,
  • Renato Lima,
  • William J. Davies,
  • Ian Dodd,
  • Antonio Chalfun-Junior
Andre Lima
Federal University of Lavras
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Iasminy Santos
Federal University of Lavras
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Marlon Lopez
Federal University of Lavras
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Carlos Cardon
Federal University of Lavras
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Cecilio Frois
Federal University of Lavras
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Renato Lima
Federal University of Lavras
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William J. Davies
Lancaster University
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Ian Dodd
University of Lancaster
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Antonio Chalfun-Junior
Universidade Federal de Lavras
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Abstract

Coffee flowering requires a period of water deficit followed by rainfall to break flower bud dormancy and promote anthesis. Since drought followed by re-watering can increase shoot ethylene production, we investigated changes in root, leaf and flower bud ethylene production and expression of genes within the ethylene biosynthesis and signalling pathways and their relationship to coffee flowering. Drought decreased foliar and flower bud ethylene production without changing root ethylene production, even though all tissues likely accumulated the ethylene precursor ACC (1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid), since ACS gene expression was maintained while ACO gene expression decreased. The ethylene receptor CaETR4-like was not differentially expressed in leaves under water deficit, but it was downregulated in roots. Re-watering restored shoot ethylene production, which seems important in promoting anthesis. 1-MCP, an ethylene action inhibitor, triggered coffee anthesis without re-watering the plants, which hitherto was considered essential to allow flowering. 1-MCP positively regulated ethylene biosynthesis genes (CaACS1-like and CaACO1-like), similar to re-watering, and downregulated CaETR4-like, suggesting that changes in ethylene levels and sensitivity are required to promote coffee anthesis. Thus, drought and re-watering-induced changes in ethylene levels and sensitivity allow coffee flowering, while the growth regulator 1-MCP can potentially regulate anthesis time and intensity.

Peer review status:UNDER REVIEW

15 May 2020Submitted to Plant, Cell & Environment
18 May 2020Assigned to Editor
18 May 2020Submission Checks Completed
22 May 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending