The ability to accumulate higher levels of sucrose in the stem is unique to sugarcane, an economically important crop and worldwide reference for the bioenergy sector. The process of sucrose accumulation in sugarcane at the molecular level has been extensively studied through the provision of EST database from SUCEST. However, the control of this process is still unclear, especially in relation to phytohormones. Among them stands out ethylene, a gaseous plant hormone, which participates in various stages of development, including germination, maturity, senescence, and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Although, the application of exogenous ethylene is common practice in fields to accelerate maturation or inhibit flowering, the mechanism of action of this phytohormone on the molecular level during maturation and its role in sucrose accumulation are still unknown. In this context, this study aims to elucidate the mechanism of action of ethylene during ripening in sugarcane using a transcriptomic approach (RNA-Seq). The differential gene expression patterns will be evaluated after the application of ripener (ethephon, induces ethylene biosynthesis) and an inhibitor of maturation (AVG, ethylene biosynthesis inhibitor) at the beginning and end of the maturation phase of two varieties, contrasting for phenological cycle (super-early and mid-late). The correlation of the data obtained with the emission standard for ethylene and sucrose accumulation along the maturation phase will allow a better understanding of the physiological mechanism involved in sucrose accumulation, contributing to future breeding programs and biotechnology of sugarcane.
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