Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2009Peer reviewedOpen access

Ethylene is an endogenous stimulator of cell division in the cambial meristem of Populus

Love, Jonathan; Bjorklund, Simon; Vahala, Jorma; Hertzberg, Magnus; Kangasjarvi, Jaakko; Sundberg, Bjorn


The plant hormone ethylene is an important signal in plant growth responses to environmental cues. In vegetative growth, ethylene is generally considered as a regulator of cell expansion, but a role in the control of meristem growth has also been suggested based on pharmacological experiments and ethylene-overproducing mutants. In this study, we used transgenic ethylene-insensitive and ethylene-overproducing hybrid aspen (Populus tremula x tremuloides) in combination with experiments using an ethylene perception inhibitor [1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP)] to demonstrate that endogenous ethylene produced in response to leaning stimulates cell division in the cambial meristem. This ethylene-controlled growth gives rise to the eccentricity of Populus stems that is formed in association with tension wood.


plant hormones; secondary xylem; tension wood; vascular cambium; wood development

Published in

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
2009, Volume: 106, number: 14, pages: 5984-5989