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Plant Physiol. Sep 1995; 109(1): 15–30.
PMCID: PMC157560

Cold Acclimation of Arabidopsis thaliana (Effect on Plasma Membrane Lipid Composition and Freeze-Induced Lesions).


Maximum freezing tolerance of Arabidopsis thaliana L. Heyn (Columbia) was attained after 1 week of cold acclimation at 2[deg]C. During this time, there were significant changes in both the lipid composition of the plasma membrane and the freeze-induced lesions that were associated with injury. The proportion of phospholipids increased from 46.8 to 57.1 mol% of the total lipids with little change in the proportions of the phospholipid classes. Although the proportion of di-unsaturated species of phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine increased, mono-unsaturated species were still the preponderant species. The proportion of cerebrosides decreased from 7.3 to 4.3 mol% with only small changes in the proportions of the various molecular species. The proportion of free sterols decreased from 37.7 to 31.2 mol%, but there were only small changes in the proportions of sterylglucosides and acylated sterylglucosides. Freezing tolerance of protoplasts isolated from either nonacclimated or cold-acclimated leaves was similar to that of leaves from which the protoplasts were isolated (-3.5[deg]C for nonacclimated leaves; -10[deg]C for cold-acclimated leaves). In protoplasts isolated from nonacclimated leaves, the incidence of expansion-induced lysis was [less than or equal to]10% at any subzero temperature. Instead, freezing injury was associated with formation of the hexagonal II phase in the plasma membrane and subtending lamellae. In protoplasts isolated from cold-acclimated leaves, neither expansion-induced lysis nor freeze-induced formation of the hexagonal II phase occurred. Instead, injury was associated with the "fracture-jump lesion," which is manifested as localized deviations of the plasma membrane fracture plane to subtending lamellae. The relationship between the freeze-induced lesions and alterations in the lipid composition of the plasma membrane during cold acclimation is discussed.

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Selected References

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