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Production of Ethylene by Some Ripening Fruits


IT was observed by Ebner1 in 1931 that the presence of ripe apples and pears—but not oranges or bananas—caused abnormalities in the sprouting of potato tubers ; and Huelin2 pointed out that the effects were similar to those produced in potato sprouts by exposure to ethylene. Later, Smith and the writer3 showed that the growth of pea seedlings was affected by an active substance produced by ripe apples, again with results which were paralleled by ethylene.


  1. Elmer, O. H., Science, 75, 193 ; 1932.

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  2. Huelin, F. E., Beport of the Food Investigation Board for 1932, p. 53. H.M. Stationery Office.

  3. Smith, A. J. M., and Gane, R., ibid., p. 156.

  4. Kidd, F., and West, C., ibid., p. 55.

  5. Gane, R., ibid., 1933, p. 122.

  6. Gane, R., ibid., 1934 (in the press).

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GANE, R. Production of Ethylene by Some Ripening Fruits. Nature 134, 1008 (1934).

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