| 144.5 g/mol|
Ethephon is the most widely used plant growth regulator.
It is manufactured by Rhône-Poulenc (Bayer Crop Science) and Jiangsu Anpon Electrochemicals Co. in China.
Upon metabolism by the plant, it is converted into ethylene, a potent regulator of plant growth and ripeness.
It is often used on wheat, coffee, tobacco, cotton, and rice in order to help the plant's fruit reach ripeness more quickly.
Cotton is the most important single crop use for ethephon. It initiates fruiting over a period of several weeks, promotes early concentrated boll opening, and enhances defoliation to facilitate and improve efficiency of scheduled harvesting. Harvested cotton quality is improved.
Ethephon also is widely used by pineapple growers to initiate reproductive development (force) of pineapple. Ethephon is also sprayed on mature-green pineapple fruits to degreen them to meet produce marketing requirements. There can be some detrimental effect on fruit quality.
Although many environmental groups worry about toxicity resulting from use of growth hormones and fertilizers, the toxicity of ethephon is actually very low, and any ethephon used on the plant is converted very quickly to ethylene.