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The effects of ethylene on plants have been recognized since the Nineteenth Century and it is widely known as the phytohormone responsible for fruit ripening and for its involvement in a number of plant growth and development processes. Elucidating the mechanisms involved in the ripening of climacteric fruit and the role that ethylene plays in this process have been central to fruit production and the improvement of fruit quality. The biochemistry, genetics and physiology of ripening has beendoi:10.1590/s1415-47572006000300020 fatcat:a5x5cnldhvherdyr5dog4l7qse