Effect of 1-MCP on Boll Development and Subtending Leaves of Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) Plants


Ethylene regulates multiple physiological processes in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) ranging from square and boll abscission to senescence. This field study investigated the effect of an ethylene inhibiting compound 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) on boll development and the corresponding subtending leaves. The study was conducted in 2011 and 2012 at the Texas A & M Agri-LIFE Research Farm in Burleson County, TX. The study consisted of two rates of 1-MCP (0 and 10 g a.i. ha-1) applied at one and two weeks after first flower. Boll development and subtending leaves were studied on the tagged flowers during the growing season. 1-MCP treatment increased cotton boll weight at 20 days after flowering. This study showed that 1-MCP-treated subtending leaves exhibited decreased membrane damage and lipid peroxidation, and higher chlorophyll content and photosynthetic efficiency at 20 to 30 days after flowering. The healthier state of subtending leaves should have provided more carbohydrates for the fruits which could partially explain the reason for the increased boll weight. However, this beneficial effect of 1-MCP did not last to the end of the growing season and failed to result in a yield increase ultimately. Multiple applications or extending effective duration of 1-MCP is desirable to enhance the activity of 1-MCP to make a significant difference in cotton yield.

Share and Cite:

Chen, Y. , Cothren, J. , Chen, D. , Ibrahim, A. and Lombardini, L. (2014) Effect of 1-MCP on Boll Development and Subtending Leaves of Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) Plants. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 5, 3345-3353. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2014.521350.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Lieberman, M. (1979) Biosynthesis and Action of Ethylene. Annual Review of Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology, 30, 533-591.
[2] Morgan, P.W. and Drew, M.C. (1997) Ethylene and Plant Responses to Stress. Physiologia Plantarum, 100, 620-630.
[3] Guinn, G. (1976) Water Deficit and Ethylene Evolution by Young Cotton Bolls. Plant Physiology, 57, 403-405.
[4] Guinn, G. (1982) Causes of Square and Boll Shedding in Cotton. USDA Technical Bulletins, US Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1-22.
[5] Guinn, G. (1982) Fruit Age and Changes in Abscisic-Acid Content, Ethylene Production, and Abscission Rate of Cotton Fruits. Plant Physiology, 69, 349-352.
[6] Lipe, J.A. and Morgan, P.W. (1973) Ethylene, a Regulator of Young Fruit Abscission. Plant Physiology, 51, 949-953.
[7] Kennedy, C.W., Smith, W.C. and Jones, J.E. (1991) Chemical Efficacy of Early Square Removal and Subsequent Productivity of Superokra-Leaf Cotton. Crop Science, 31, 791-796.
[8] Boquet, D.J., Hutchinson, R.L. and Breitenbeck, G.A. (2004) Long-Term Tillage, Cover Crop, and Nitrogen Rate Effects on Cotton: Yield and Fiber Properties. Agronomy Journal, 96, 1436-1442.
[9] Hake, K., et al. (1992) Sqaure Retention. In: Cotton Phsiology Today Newletter, National Cotton Council, Memphis, Technical Service.
[10] Wells, R. and Meredith, W.R. (1984) Comparative Growth of Obsolete and Modern Cotton Cultivars. 3. Relationship of Yield to Observed Growth-Characteristics. Crop Science, 24, 868-872.
[11] Worley, S., Culp, T.W. and Harrell, D.C. (1974) The Relative Contributions of Yield Components to Lint Yield of Upland Cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L. Euphytica, 23, 399-403.
[12] Wu, J.X., Jenkins, J.N., McCarty, J.C. and Watson, C.E. (2005) Comparisons of Two Statistical Models for Evaluating Boll Retention in Cotton. Agronomy Journal, 97, 1291-1294.
[13] Jiang, W., Sheng, Q., Zhou, X.J., Zhang, M.J. and Liu, X.J. (2002) Regulation of Detached Coriander Leaf Senescence by 1-Methylcyclopropene and Ethylene. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 26, 339-345.
[14] Wright, P.R. (1999) Premature Senescence of Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.)—Predominantly a Potassium Disorder Caused by an Imbalance of Source and Sink. Plant and Soil, 211, 231-239.
[15] Blankenship, S.M. and Dole, J.M. (2003) 1-Methylcyclopropene: A Review. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 28, 1-25.
[16] Sisler, E.C., Dupille, E. and Serek, M. (1996) Effect of 1-Methylcyclopropene and Methylenecyclopropane on Ethylene Binding and Ethylene Action on Cut Carnations. Plant Growth Regulation, 18, 79-86.
[17] Kawakami, E.M., Oosterhuis, D.M. and Snider, J.L. (2010) 1-Methylcyclopropene Effects on the Physiology and Yield of Field-Grown Cotton. Journal of Cotton Science, 14, 233-239.
[18] Kawakami, E.M., Oosterhuis, D.M., Gonias, E.D. and Bibi, A.C. (2006) Effect of 1-MCP on the Growth and Yield of Cotton. Summaries of Arkansas Cotton Research 2006, 58-61.
[19] Kawakami, E.M., Oosterhuis, D.M. and Snider, J.L. (2007) Effect of 1-MCP on the Physiology and Yield of Cotton. Summaries of Arkansas Cotton Research 2007, 90-95.
[20] Storch, D.K., Oosterhuis, D.M. and Kawakami, E.M. (2008) Effect of 1-Methylcyclopropene on the Biochemistry and Yield of Field-Grown Cotton. Summaries of Arkansas Cotton Research 2008, 63-67.
[21] Wang, G. and Asiimwe, R.K. (2010) Effects of 1-MCP and Quadris on Cotton Growth and Yield. Arizona Cotton Report, 28-33.
[22] Wullschleger, S.D. and Oosterhuis, D.M. (1990) Photosynthetic Carbon Production and Use by Developing Cotton Leaves and Bolls. Crop Science, 30, 1259-1264.
[23] Constable, G.A. and Rawson, H.M. (1980) Carbon Production and Utilization in Cotton: Inferences from a Carbon Budget. Australian Journal of Plant Physiology, 7, 539-553.
[24] Hearn, A.B. (1972) The Growth and Performance of Rain-Grown Cotton in a Tropical Upland Environment: II. The Relationship between Yield and Growth. The Journal of Agricultural Science, 79, 137-145.
[25] Djanaguiraman, M., Prasad, P.V.V. and Al-Khatib, K. (2011) Ethylene Perception Inhibitor 1-MCP Decreases Oxidative Damage of Leaves through Enhanced Antioxidant Defense Mechanisms in Soybean Plants Grown under High Temperature Stress. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 71, 215-223.
[26] da Costa, V.A., Cothren, J.T. and Bynum, J.B. (2011) Abiotic Stress Effects on Plant Growth and Yield Components of 1-MCP Treated Cotton Plants. Agronomy Journal, 103, 1591-1596.
[27] Scheiner, J.J. (2007) Effect of 1-Methylcyclopropene on Upland Cotton. Texas A & M University, College Station.
[28] de Wild, H.P.J., Otma, E.C. and Peppelenbos, H.W. (2003) Carbon Dioxide Action on Ethylene Biosynthesis of Preclimacteric and Climacteric Pear Fruit. Journal of Experimental Botany, 54, 1537-1544.
[29] Hays, D.B., Do, J.H., Mason, R.E., Morgan, G. and Finlayson, S.A. (2007) Heat Stress Induced Ethylene Production in Developing Wheat Grains Induces Kernel Abortion and Increased Maturation in a Susceptible Cultivar. Plant Science, 172, 1113-1123.
[30] Stewart, S.D., Layton, M.B., Williams, M.R., Ingram, D. and Maily, W. (2001) Response of Cotton to Prebloom Square Loss. Journal of Economic Entomology, 94, 388-396.
[31] Kawakami, E.M., Oosterhuis, D. and Snider, J. (2010) Physiological Effects of 1-Methylcyclopropene on Well-Watered and Water-Stressed Cotton Plants. Journal of Plant Growth Regulation, 29, 280-288.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.