Since their first description as atmospheric gases, it turned out that both nitric oxide (NO) and ethylene (ET) are multifunctional plant signals. ET and polyamines (PAs) use the same precursor for their synthesis, and NO can be produced from PA oxidation. Therefore, an indirect metabolic link between NO and ET synthesis can be considered. NO signal is perceived primarily through S-nitrosation without the involvement of a specific receptor, while ET signal is sensed by a well-characterized receptor complex. Both NO and ET are synthetized by plants at various developmental stages (e.g., seeds, fruits) and as a response to numerous environmental factors (e.g., heat, heavy metals) and they mutually regulate each other’s levels. Most of the growth and developmental processes (e.g., fruit ripening, de-etiolation) are regulated by NO–ET antagonism, while in abiotic stress responses, both antagonistic (e.g., dark-induced stomatal opening, cadmium-induced cell death) and synergistic (e.g., UV-B-induced stomatal closure, iron deficiency-induced expression of iron acquisition genes) NO–ET interplays have been revealed. Despite the numerous pieces of experimental evidence revealing NO–ET relationships in plants, the picture is far from complete. Understanding the mechanisms of NO–ET interactions may contribute to the increment of yield and intensification of stress tolerance of crop plants in changing environments.
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