Ethylene

Definition - What does Ethylene mean?

Ethylene is a hormone produced by plants that aids in the ripening and aging process of plants. Ethylene is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas that can also occur through combustion and other methods.

MaximumYield explains Ethylene

Ethylene is considered the aging hormone of plants. It helps some fruits ripen, can cause a plant to die, and is also produced when a plant is injured.

Ethylene can have a number of effects on the life of plants, including the ripening of the fruits apples and pears. It can also be responsible for a loss of chlorophyll, abortion of various plant parts, or the weakening and bending of stems.

Because ethylene is so important for the ripening of some fruits, it is sometimes used by commercial agribusinesses to speed up the ripening process of crops such as tomatoes.

Sometimes a plant can overproduce ethylene and begin to age rapidly. The result is a yellowing, spotting, premature ripening and abortion of fruit, and the eventual death of the plant.

Ethylene can also be highly explosive. It is widely used in the chemical industry and its use exceeds all other organic compounds.

Ethylene is most often used for the production of plastics and its chemical chain is valued for its use in the manufacturing of polyethylene. Because it has so many possible uses, ethylene is the basis of automotive antifreeze, rubber for tires and footwear, and synthetic lubricants.


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