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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Action: Ethephon is a plant growth regulator with systemic properties. It penetrates into tissues and is translocated. It decomposes to ethylene which is the active metabolite.
  • Ethephon is easily converted into ethylene and has the same harmful effects.
  • Ethephon is an organophosphonate as opposed to an organophosphate. It is structurally different from and exhibits different physical/ chemical properties than traditional organophosphate compounds.
  • Appearance: colorless solid. Water Solubility: readily soluble in water. Solubility in Other Solvents: readily soluble in methanol, ethanol, isopropanol, acetone, ether and other polar organic solvents. Melting Point: 74-75 degrees C. Vapor Pressure: <10 to the minus 7 mbar at 20 degrees C.

Toxicity

  • Toxicology ofEthephon:
  • Oral: acute oral LD50 for rats 4229mg/kg.
  • Skin and eyes: acute percutaneous LD50 for rabbits 5730mg/kg; irritating to skin and eyes.
  • Inhalation: LC50 (4h) for rats 6.26mg/L.
  • NOEL: (2 y) for rats 3000ppm diet.
  • ADI: (JMPR) 0.05mg/kg b.w.
  • Birds: acute oral LD50 for bobwhite quails 1072mg/kg.
  • Fish: LC50 (96h) for carp >140, rainbow trout 720mg/L.
  • Daphnia: EC50 (48h) 577.4mg/L.
  • Ethephon exhibits low acute toxicity via the oral (Toxicity Category III), inhalation (Toxicity Category IV), and dermal (Toxicity Category III) routes of exposure. Ethephon is dermally corrosive and is a skin and eye irritant (Toxicity Category I) but not a dermal sensitizer.
     

Uses

  • To accelerate ripening of fruit, tomatoes, sugar beet, coffee, etc.
  • To increase the tillering of wheat and rice.
  • To prevent lodging in rice, maize and flax.
  • To accelerate boll opening and defoliation in cotton.
  • To hasten the yellowing of mature tobacco leaves.
  • To stimulate latex flow in rubber trees, and resin flow in pine trees.
  • To stimulate early uniform hull split in walnuts, etc.
  • To promote pre-harvest ripening in apples, currants, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, morello cherries, citrus fruit, figs, tomatoes, sugar beet and fodder beet seed crops, coffee, capsicums, etc.;
  • To accelerate post-harvest ripening in bananas, mangoes, and citrus fruit.
  • To facilitate harvesting by loosening of the fruit in currants, gooseberries, cherries, and apples; to increase flower bud development in young apple trees.
  • To induce flowering of Bromeliads.
  • To shorten the stem length in forced daffodils.
     

Report

  • Ethephon is registered on a number of terrestrial food, feed, and nonfood crops, greenhouse nonfood crops, and outdoor plants, and 45 tolerances have been established for residues of ethephon in or on food commodities under 40 CFR 180.300.
  • On average about 4.1 million pounds of ethephon are used annually on 1.7 million acres. The crops with highest percent crop treated are tart cherries (61%), grapes (40%), processed tomatoes (15%), and cotton (10%).
  • Ethephon-treated trees, which defoliated within two weeks of treatment, began showing inflorescence buds about four weeks after treatment, and produced open flowers well in advance of the controls.
  • To prevent evaporation, ethephon was foliarly  sprayed using a black sprayer system consisting of ahand-held boom with nozzles spaced 0.76 m apart.
  • Ethylene evolution from ethephon treated plants was determined with  the use of a shimadzu 8A gas chromotography (GC),with a flame ionisation detector. Nitrogen and air were the carrier gases.

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