The relationship between F-box proteins and proteins involved in the ethylene response in plants is described. In particular, F-box proteins may bind to proteins involved in the ethylene response and target them for degradation by the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway. The transcription factor EIN3 is a key transcription factor mediating ethylene-regulated gene expression and morphological responses. EIN3 is degraded through a ubiquitin/proteasome pathway mediated by F-box proteins EBF1 and EBF2. The link between F-box proteins and the ethylene response is a key step in modulating or regulating the response of a plant to ethylene. Described herein are transgenic plants having an altered sensitivity to ethylene, and methods for making transgenic plant having an altered sensitivity to ethylene by modulating the level of activity of F-box proteins. Methods of altering the ethylene response in a plant by modulating the activity or expression of an F-box protein are described. Also described are methods of identifying compounds that modulate the ethylene response in plants by modulating the level of F-box protein expression or activity.
This invention was made with United States Government Support under Grant No. 1F32GM66639 from the National Institute of Health, Grant No. MCB-0213154 from the National Science Foundation, and Grant No. DE-FG03-00 ER15113 from the Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in this invention.