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Title: Methionine as a Precursor of Ethylene—Commentary

item Mattoo, Autar
item Anderson, James

Submitted to: Plant Physiology
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/10/2010
Publication Date: 10/1/2010
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.

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.

Technical Abstract: 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.