The M locus and ethylene-controlled sex determination in andromonoecious cucumber plants

Seiji Yamasaki, Nobuharu Fujii, Seiji Matsuura, Hidemasa Mizusawa, Hideyuki Takahashi

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104 Citations (Scopus)


Sex determination in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants is genetically controlled by the F and M loci. These loci interact to produce three different sexual phenotypes gynoecious (M-F-), monoecious (M-ff), and andromonoecious (mmff). Gynoecious cucumber plants produce more ethylene than do monoecious plants. We found that the levels of ethylene production and the accumulation of CS-ACS2 mRNA in andromonoecious cucumber plants did not differ from those in monoecious plants and were lower than the levels measured in gynoecious plants. Ethylene inhibited stamen development in gynoecious cucumbers but not in andromonoecious ones. Furthermore, ethylene caused substantial increases in the accumulation of CS-ETR2, CS-ERS, and CS-ACS2 mRNA in monoecious and gynoecious cucumber plants, but not in andromonoecious one. In addition, the inhibitory effect of ethylene on hypocotyl elongation in andromonoecious cucumber plants was less than that in monoecious and gynoecious plants. These results suggest that ethylene responses in andromonoecious cucumber plants are reduced from those in monoecious and gynoecious plants. This is the first evidence that ethylene signals may influence the product of the M locus and thus inhibit stamen development in cucumber. The andromonoecious line provides novel material for studying the function of the M locus during sex determination in flowering cucumbers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-619
Number of pages12
JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • CS-ACS2
  • CS-ERS
  • CS-ETR2
  • Cucumber (Cucumis sativus)
  • Ethylene
  • M locus
  • Sex expression


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