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Plant Physiol. 1995 Jan;107(1):141-148.

Role of Abscisic Acid in Drought-Induced Freezing Tolerance, Cold Acclimation, and Accumulation of LT178 and RAB18 Proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, Uppsala Genetic Center, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7010, S-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden.


To study the role of abscisic acid (ABA) in development of freezing tolerance of Arabidopsis thaliana, we exposed wild-type plants, the ABA-insensitive mutant abi1, and the ABA-deficient mutant aba-1 to low temperature (LT), exogenous ABA, and drought. Exposure of A. thaliana to drought stress resulted in a similar increase in freezing tolerance as achieved by ABA treatment or the initial stages of acclimation, suggesting overlapping responses to these environmental cues. ABA appears to be involved in both LT- and drought-induced freezing tolerance, since both ABA mutants were impaired in their responses to these stimuli. To correlate enhanced freezing tolerance with the presence of stress-specific proteins, we characterized the accumulation of RAB18 and LTI78 in two ecotypes, Landsberg erecta and Coimbra, and in the ABA mutants during stress response. LT- and drought-induced accumulation of RAB18 coincided with the increase in freezing tolerance and was blocked in the cold-acclimation-deficient ABA mutants. In contrast, LT178 accumulated in all genotypes in response to LT and drought and was always present when the plants were freezing tolerant. This suggests that development of freezing tolerance in A. thaliana requires ABA-controlled processes in addition to ABA-independent factors.

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