The effects of chilling on ethylene production by leaf discs and whole plants of bean (chilling-sensitive) and pea (chilling-tolerant) were studied. When pea or bean leaf discs were excised and incubated at 25°C, transient increases in ethylene production and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) accumulation were observed. Both pea and bean discs kept at 5°C evolved little ethylene, but levels of ACC increased in pea discs and not in bean discs. When discs of either species were chilled at 5°C immediately after excision and then transferred to 25°C 9 h later, increases in their ACC levels and ethylene production rates were observed. Discs were also incubated at 25°C for 12 h to allow excision-induced ethylene production to subside and then chilled at 5°C. Nine hours later, these discs were transferred to 25°C, and an increase in ethylene production was observed. These data indicate that chilling suppresses excision-induced ethylene production and enhances the production of ethylene after transfer to 25°C. Chilling of whole plants resulted in increased production of ethylene and ACC in the chilling-sensitive bean but not in the chilling-tolerant pea. Treatment of bean plants with the ethylene antagonists silver thiosulfate, norbornadiene, or aminooxyacetic acid, or of pea plants with ethylene, did not affect the appearance of chilling injury symptoms, indicating that ethylene does not induce injury symptoms and may not have an adaptive role in chilling stress.