Advantages and Disadvantages of Ethylene Hormone in Agriculture

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Ethylene is a type of hormones in plants. Most people know ethylene as the hormone that helps in the fruit ripening process.

A lot of farmers in the community use this hormone for multiple purposes, one example is to get bananas, papayas, and other fruits to ripen faster.

In the beginning, ethylene gas was found as a by-product of imperfect burning of kerosene. That gas could be used in fruit brooding inside a granary. This gas could even be found in old fruits. Ethylene gas, also familiar as carbide, is now widely used by farmers to help ripen fruit crops faster.

guava crops
guava crops

If you harvest old-age fruits, for example bananas, and you keep them inside a thick sack, then the ethylene gas inside the fruit will accumulate which then will make the ripening process faster.

Ethylene gas has unique roles, functions, and benefits. They are:

  • quicken fruit ripening process
  • helps leaf abscission
  • combined with auxin, triggers the formation of flowers
  • stimulates thickening of the stems
  • strengthen stems and branches

On the other hand, the disadvantage of ethylene gas or carbide is if given to crops too much and uncontrollably, fruits will not only ripen faster but also rot faster. So it is important for farmers and gardeners to pay attention to fruits resulted from this ethylene gas treatment.

In addition, ethylene gas or carbide is commercially sold with quite inexpensive price and just one grain of ethylene is enough.

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