Thesis Title

A Study of Growth of Several Plant Species as Influenced By the Plant Growth Regulator Ethephon


Julie Straus

Date of Graduation

Fall 2001


Master of Natural and Applied Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Pamela Borden

Subject Categories



Ethephon was applied to seeds, seedlings or cuttings by soaking or drenching the plant material for varying lengths of time in a range of dilutions of exogenous ethylene to determine its effects on growth. Species studied were Vitis Labrusca L., Carya Illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K.Koch, Kniphofia x praecox Bak. Tagetes erecta L., Tradescantia zebrina hort. ex Bosse and Adenium obesum (Forssk.) Roem& Schult. Of the species listed, Tradescantia had the most positive response in growth to ethephon treatments. Total plant dry weight of Tradescantia cuttings significantly increased with ethephon applications, along with increases in lateral shoot length. Trends of increasing plant fresh weight and was established with 24 hour seed soak treatments in Adenium, trends of increasing dry weight was established in Carya, and tendencies of increased dry weight above control treatments were observed in 2 hour cutting and root soaks in Vitis and Kniphofia respectively. Treatments of ethephon drenches on Tagetes and Kniphofia species proved to be too strong and/or too frequent. Maximum and minimum concentrations of ethephon for most of these species were observed and would be valuable for future research.


© Julie Straus