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Color without Ethephon in Grapes: Is it Possible?

Ethephon is a known plant growth regulator that has been applied for many years and for which a myriad of possible uses on various agricultural crops have been developed. In horticultural crops it is applied, among other uses, as a harvest agent and ripening promoter. Its mode of action is based in the splitting of its molecule allowing to free the ethylene gas, the known endogenous plant hormone that participates in the regulation of processes in plants as diverse as abscission (e.g. shedding of leaves and fruits), plant growth and senescence and most particularly fruit ripening (especially in the case of so-called climacteric fruits). Further, ethylene can be used as a degreening agent in citrus and to enhance color development on table grapes (both known examples of non-climacteric fruits). In the latter case it is frequently used as derived from ethephon applications on colored grapes when natural conditions (e.g. warm temperatures at night) and cultural practices (e.g. high yield and berry growth as induced by other plant growth regulators) are precluding the obtention of enough berry skin color for marketing purposes.... Read more