The climacteric-like behaviour of young, mature and wounded citrus leaves

Ehud Katz*, Joseph Riov, David Weiss, Eliezer E. Goldschmidt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Although leaves and other vegetative tissues are generally considered as non-climacteric, citrus leaves show a climacteric system II behaviour after detachment. Upon harvest, young, fully expanded 'Valencia' orange (Citrus sinensis) leaves (∼60-d-old) exhibited two phases of ethylene production. The first phase, up to 6 d after detachment, was characterized by a low and constant ethylene production (system I pathway), associated with a constitutive expression of ACC synthase 2 (CsACS2), CsERS1, and CsETR1. ACC synthase 1 (CsACS1) was not expressed during this phase and autoinhibition of ethylene production was apparent following treatment with exogenous ethylene or propylene. The second phase, 7-12 d after detachment, was characterized by a climacteric rise in ethylene production, preceded by the induction of CsACS1 and ACC oxidase 1 (CsACO1) gene expression in the system II pathway. This induction was accelerated and augmented by exogenous ethylene or propylene, indicating an autocatalytic system II ethylene biosynthesis. Mature leaves (6-8-months-old) behaved similarly, except that the climacteric peak in ethylene production occurred earlier (day 5). Young and mature leaves varied in the timing of the climacteric ethylene rise and CsACS1 and CsACO1 induction. The two phases of ethylene production, system I and system II, were also detected in wounded leaf discs of both young and mature leaves. The first phase peaked 15 min after excision and the second phase peaked after 6 h.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1359-1367
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number415
StatePublished - May 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The financial support to EK, by a fellowship granted by the Israeli Citrus Marketing Board, is gratefully acknowledged.


  • ACC oxidase
  • ACC synthase
  • Citrus leaves
  • Ethylene
  • Non-climacteric fruit
  • Senescence
  • Systems I and II
  • Wounding


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