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Plant Physiol. Jul 1990; 93(3): 1021–1026.
PMCID: PMC1062624

Cell Wall and Extensin mRNA Changes during Cold Acclimation of Pea Seedlings


During exposure to 2 °C, pea (Pisum sativum) seedlings cold acclimated to a killing temperature of −6 °C. Associated with this increase in freezing resistance was an increase in the weight of cell walls and changes in wall composition. Arabinosyl content increased by 100%, while other cell wall glycosyl residues and cellulose increased by about 20%. The cell wall hydroxyproline content increased by 80%. Arabinose and hydroxyproline are both major components of the structural cell wall glycoprotein, extensin. The increase in these components indicates that the level of extensin in the cell wall increases during cold acclimation. Northern blot analysis, using the pDC5A1 genomic clone as a probe, revealed a more than three-fold increase in total extensin mRNA during exposure to cold temperature. Specific extensin transcripts of 6.0, 4.5, 3.5, 2.6, 2.3, 1.8, and 1.5 kilobases were identified. Those at 6.0, 2.6, and 1.5 kilobases were especially promoted by low temperature treatment. The rise in extensin during cold acclimation may be regulated, at least in part, at the gene level. The possible structural role of this protein in freezing protection is discussed.

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Selected References

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