Ethylene modulates root growth and mineral nutrients levels in trifoliate orange through the auxin-signaling pathway


  • Ceng-Hong HU Hubei Key Laboratory of Water logging Disaster and Agricultural Use of Wetland, Yangtze University, Jingzhou, Hubei 434020 (CN)
  • Shi-Dong YUAN Hubei Key Laboratory of Water logging Disaster and Agricultural Use of Wetland, Yangtze University, Jingzhou, Hubei 434020 (CN)
  • Cui-Ling TONG Jingzhou Institute of Technology, Jingzhou, Hubei 434025 (CN)
  • De-Jian ZHANG Hubei Key Laboratory of Water logging Disaster and Agricultural Use of Wetland, Yangtze University, Jingzhou, Hubei 434020; Hubei Engineering Research Center for Specialty Flowers Biological Breeding, Jingchu University of Technology, Jingmen 448000, Hubei (CN)
  • Ren-Hua HUANG Hubei Engineering Research Center for Specialty Flowers Biological Breeding, Jingchu University of Technology, Jingmen 448000, Hubei (CN)



auxin, citrus, ethylene, mineral nutrients, root


Roots are fundamental to plant growth, with their development being profoundly influenced by water, mineral nutrients, and notably, plant hormones. Citrus, a leading horticultural crop cultivated globally, holds immense economic value. This study tried to investigate the roles and mechanisms effect of foliar spray 1.0 μmol/L ethephon (ETH) of ethylene and 5.0 μmol/L AgNO3 (an ethylene inhibitor) its inhibitor with auxin on root growth and mineral nutrients content levels in trifoliate orange under sand culture conditions for 45 days. Our findings indicate that ethephon treatment significantly boosted the number of lateral roots, root fresh weight, and enhanced the mineral nutrient content (N, P, K, B, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, and Zn, with the exception of Cu) in both root and shoot tissues. In contrast, the inhibitors notably reduced the length of lateral roots and decreased the content of P, and Fe in both root and shoot, whilst elevating Zn contents. Furthermore, ETH incited the up-regulation of auxin biosynthesis and transportation genes, leading to an increased endogenous auxin content in the lateral root-hair region. whereas, the inhibitors produced an opposite effect. We thus conclude that ethylene modulates auxin transportation and biosynthesis. This activity stimulates the auxin signaling pathway locally-specifically, in the root hair zone in the lateral root, which in turn, regulates root growth and mineral nutrient content.


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How to Cite

HU, C.-H., YUAN, S.-D., TONG, C.-L., ZHANG, D.-J., & HUANG, R.-H. (2023). Ethylene modulates root growth and mineral nutrients levels in trifoliate orange through the auxin-signaling pathway. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 51(3), 13269.



Research Articles
DOI: 10.15835/nbha51313269