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Cold acclimation in the moss Physcomitrella patens involves abscisic acid-dependent signaling

Cold acclimation in the moss Physcomitrella patens involves abscisic acid-dependent signaling

Journal of Plant Physiology 169(2): 137-145

Overwintering plants develop tolerance to freezing stress through a cold acclimation process by which the cells provoke internal protective mechanisms against freezing. The stress hormone abscisic acid (ABA) is known to increase freezing tolerance of plant cells, but its role in cold acclimation has not been determined. In this study, we used ABA-insensitive lines of the moss Physcomitrella patens to determine whether cold acclimation in bryophytes involves an ABA-dependent process. Two ABA-insensitive lines, both impaired in ABA signaling without showing ABA-induced stress tolerance, were subjected to cold acclimation, and changes in freezing tolerance and accumulation of soluble sugars and proteins were compared to the wild type. The wild-type cells acquired freezing tolerance in response to cold acclimation treatment, but very little increase in freezing tolerance was observed in the ABA-insensitive lines. Analysis of low-molecular-weight soluble sugars indicated that the ABA-insensitive lines accumulated sucrose, a major compatible solute in bryophytes, to levels comparable with those of the wild type during cold acclimation. However, accumulation of the trisaccharide theanderose and of specific LEA-like boiling-soluble proteins was very limited in the ABA-insensitive lines. Furthermore, analysis of cold-induced expression of genes encoding LEA-like proteins revealed that the ABA-insensitive lines accumulate only small amounts of these transcripts during cold acclimation. Our results indicate that cold acclimation of bryophytes requires an ABA-dependent signaling process. The results also suggest that cold-induced sugar accumulation, depending on the sugar species, can either be dependent or independent of the ABA-signaling pathway.

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Accession: 052163383

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 21958596

DOI: 10.1016/j.jplph.2011.08.004

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