Submitted to: Plant Physiology
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: September 10, 2010
Publication Date: October 1, 2010
Citation: Mattoo, A.K., Anderson, J.D. 2010. Nomination of the Lieberman et al. (1966) paper for inclusion in Plant Physiology 25,000th Article Classics Collection. Plant Physiology. www.plantphysiol.org/cgi/doi/10.1104/pp.110.160374.
Interpretive Summary: American Society of Plant Biologists is bringing out a special classics edition of their prestigious journal Plant Physiology which will feature papers that reported breakthroughs in plant biology. This paper nominates and provides a commentary on the contribution of a previous USDA-ARS employee Morris Lieberman who published in 1966 a pathbreaking paper demonstrating that the amino acid methionine is a precursor of the plant hormone ethylene. Ethylene is a gaseous plant hormone that is a pro-senescence and pro-ripening regulator in plants. This commentary provides a short historic account that will interest scientists in the field of plant physiology and biochemistry.
Lieberman et al. showed in a 1966 publication of Plant Physiology that methionine is a precursor of ethylene. It was the first paper that showed ethylene carbons are derived from carbons 3 and 4 of methionine. This paper catalyzed remarkable interest among plant biologists to elucidate the biosynthetic pathway leading from methionine to ethylene, and is worthy of remaining a classic paper.